13 May 2020

Harnessing cities' potential to protect pollinators

Our ecosystem would collapse without pollinators: 75 percent of the world’s main food crops and 85 percent of wild plants rely on pollinating insects. The right tools and knowledge can support local authorities and practitioners to transform cities into ecosystems where pollinators thrive. A new ‘Guide for Pollinator Friendly Cities’ – created by ICLEI Europe within the framework of the EU Pollinators Initiative – supplies local decision-makers and practitioners a step-wise approach to transform their cities into safe havens for pollinators. The guide provides a set of recommendations, covering both policymaking and technical aspects, based on cities’ successful experiences and initiatives in wild pollinator conservation.

For policy- and decision-makers, the guide outlines how to create formal commitments to protect, enhance, and restore pollinator habitats, linking to international and national agreements. The guide also sheds light on how to integrate pollinator concerns into policies for spatial planning, infrastructure and housing, nature conservation and land-use management. Last but not least, local authorities can learn how to access financial resources, capacity-building opportunities, and foster cooperation with other sectors.

Practitioners, in turn, can learn which steps to take to create new, restore or connect pollinator-friendly ecosystems and habitats, and, thus, ensure their functionality and connectivity. For citywide results, the guide highlights how practitioners can engage and educate communities and raise awareness.

A prime example featured in the guide is of ICLEI Member Cascais (Portugal)’s initiatives, which include running workshops for schools and the local community that focus on educating the public about the importance of pollinators in the local ecosystem, encouraging beekeeping and reducing the use of pesticides.

People and pollinators can live in harmony. Delve into the ‘Guide for Pollinator Friendly Cities’ to learn more.

Find the full guide, as well as a fact sheet and poster, here. Find French and German versions available on the IUCN website.