Ministers O’Brien, Noonan and Hackett launch the new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

 

  • The second All-Ireland Pollinator Plan provides a five-year roadmap to help bees and nature
  • The first Plan generated unprecedented support from communities, local authorities, farmers, schools, businesses
  • The new Plan builds on that success with 186 actions outlining increased ambition for pollinator conservation
  • The National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is funding a full-time project officer to support the Plan
  • The Department of Agriculture is funding a full-time project officer to support implementation of the farmland actions

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 is being launched by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien T.D., together with Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan T.D. and Minister of State for Forestry, Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett.

The new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) represents the second phase of this very successful project. It presents a five-year roadmap that aims to help bees, other pollinating insects and our wider biodiversity by engaging communities, local authorities, farmers, schools and businesses, among others, to take action for nature. There are 186 actions to help biodiversity that:

• Encourage the restoration of land for pollinators and other biodiversity

• Celebrate farmland biodiversity and improve awareness of how farmers can help

• Support more councils to manage their land in a way that better integrates people and biodiversity

• Engage new sectors, such as hospitals and nursing homes

• Increase the focus on rare species that are at risk of disappearing, like the Great Yellow Bumblebee

• Grow and support the networks of people helping across all sectors

• Encourage more people to pledge their garden for pollinators, creating pitstops for hungry bees right across our landscape

• Identify new research priorities so that our universities can continue to grow the evidence-base to best support the initiative

• Reinforce Ireland’s position as a world leader in pollinator conservation by establishing a ‘Pollinator Trail’ that identifies and celebrates excellent examples of restored pollinator habitat right across the island

Welcoming the publication, Minister Darragh O’Brien said:

“I’m delighted to be launching the second phase of this important initiative, which builds on the considerable success of the first All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. One third of our 98 wild bee species are threatened with extinction. Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to address these declines and the ambition outlined in this new Plan will help to establish us as a global leader in pollinator conservation. I would like to encourage everyone to read the Plan and do what they can to take action for pollinators.”

Reflecting on the value of bottom-up action for nature, Minister Malcolm Noonan said:

“The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is an inspiring example of what can be achieved by empowering all sectors of society to get involved in science-based action for nature. Whether by planting native trees, providing nesting habitat, letting the grass grow or reducing pesticide use, the Plan makes it easy for everyone – rural or urban, young or old, expert or novice – to get involved in biodiversity conservation. Not only is this important for wildlife, it’s also important for people: connecting communities, encouraging outdoor activity and supporting hands-on practical action. I welcome my Department’s funding of a Project Officer to support the implementation of the Plan and implore everyone to get behind what is now very much a national effort to protect our pollinators.”

Commenting on the importance of supporting farmers to take action for wild pollinators, Minister Pippa Hackett said:

“Farmers and farmland do a vital job in managing land for our wild pollinators. Their role needs to be both recognised and celebrated, and I believe this new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan will work to do that, by encouraging farmer engagement, and improving awareness and uptake of pollinator actions. This will then bring about landscape level change for wild pollinators and for wider biodiversity. I am therefore delighted to support the plan. My Department’s funding of a Farmland Project Officer to support the implementation of the farmland actions is also a welcome addition to it and I look forward to seeing great success for the plan as it moves into the next phase.”

In addition to launching the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Ministers O’Brien, Noonan and Burke at the Department of Housing jointly issued a letter to all Local Authorities and Councillors, requesting them to consider what they can to support pollinators on their own lands, particularly in the important early Spring season.

Commenting on the importance of local authority engagement in pollinator action, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, said:

“Local Authorities have proven to be valuable partners in the success of the last All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. Many are making changes in how they manage public areas, encouraging communities to participate, and in raising awareness. As Minister for Local Government, I want to encourage our Councils to play an equally active role in this new Plan and support enhanced ambition for heritage and biodiversity in the coming years.”

For more information, see www.pollinators.ie.