New book shines spotlight on success stories of Irish pollinator conservation

Posted on: 11 February 2021

A new book – ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020’ – has been launched today to showcase numerous heartening success stories of actions for conserving pollinators across Ireland.

The book, launched by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, marks the conclusion of the first phase of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

The success stories within show the big difference that small actions can make thanks to the collective contributions made by communities, farmers, schools, businesses, local authorities and many others across the length and breadth of Ireland.

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 has achieved considerable impact:

  • The last five years have seen the delivery of all 81 actions identified in the Plan
  • Across all sectors, the number of engaged individuals and organisations continues to increase
  • 55% of all Councils across the island have become partners
  • Hundreds of local communities have embraced the initiative
  • 280 businesses have come on board and agreed to take action
  • A framework by which all farms can become more pollinator-friendly is currently in collaborative development

The bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, on Trinity's campus, 2019.

Despite these successes, pollinators in Ireland continue to face considerable threats from habitat loss, pollution, pests and diseases, and climate change. Thus, an even more ambitious plan for 2021-2025 is currently being finalised and “Phase 2” of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is expected to be launched in the coming months.

Trinity has been involved in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan since its inception: Professor Jane Stout, from the School of Natural Sciences, specialist in pollinator and pollination ecology, is co-founder of the Plan and deputy chair of its steering group, and involved in developing the Plan’s second phase.

Professor Stout’s research underpins and informs the Plan, she co-leads the Irish Pollinator Research Network, and she championed the development of the Trinity Campus Pollinator Plan, launched by the Provost in 2017.

Looking ahead, Professor Jane Stout said:

“As we look forward to the next five years, we need to continue to engage across all sectors, monitor our pollinators, and manage more land for biodiversity. Ultimately, the AIPP will only be a success if in 10, 20 or hundreds of years from now, this island is buzzing with bees and we have diverse, healthy wild pollinator populations, providing us with the services on which we are so dependent. If we achieve this, we will also create a diverse and healthy environment for ourselves.”

Pollinator-friendly plants have been planted across Trinity's campus. Professor Stout's research and involvement in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has been crucial in leading Trinity's efforts.

Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Senior Ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said:

“The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has shown – across every sector and in every corner of this island – that people do care about nature, and that we can come together to make changes for the better. To those thousands of people, groups and organisations who got behind the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan with such energy and enthusiasm, we would like to express our sincere thanks. The publication of ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is a celebration of all of their efforts.”

Welcoming the publication, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan, said:

“I’m proud to launch this inspiring publication. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is an incredible initiative that has engaged people across Ireland to take local action for bees and other pollinators and generate national impact for nature. It’s also inspired international ambition, becoming the benchmark for how other countries approach the important issue of pollinator decline. I’ve been involved in a number of Pollinator Plan activities in my constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny, so I’m especially pleased to share this collection of stories that I hope will encourage more people to get involved in biodiversity conservation.”