17 September 2018
Today, we feature Úna Fitzpatrick in the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Project Coordinator for the all-Ireland Pollinator Plan.
The NBDC is a national organisation that collects and manages data to document Ireland’s valuable wildlife resource, and to track how it is changing. It is vital that this resource is protected for future generations.
The NBDC supports the implementation of national and international legislation, provides data to assist national and regional planning and tracks changes in our biodiversity.
In Ireland, one-third of our 99 bee species are threatened with extinction. Without pollinators it would be impossible for farmers or gardeners to affordably produce many fruits and vegetables.
Pollinators are also necessary for a healthy environment and landscape. Without them, the 78% of wild plants in Ireland that require insect pollination would disappear.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was published in 2015 and has identified 81 actions to make Ireland more pollinator-friendly. A 16-member steering group provides oversight of the plan, with implementation coordinated by the NBDC.
From 2016, Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme and the Heritage Council have jointly provided funding for the NBDC to employ a project officer to help implement the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. We have also collaborated on guidelines to make farmland more pollinator-friendly.
Origin Green has also worked closely with the NBDC to support the implementation of the Pollinator Plan through Origin Green. Support of the Pollinator Plan offers businesses multiple benefits, such as demonstration of their sustainability credentials and a way of connecting with customers who care about sustainability.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan offers a framework to support corporate social responsibility objectives through a variety of low/no-cost actions. Along with the business benefits that come from supporting the Pollinator Plan, registered companies will receive a certificate of participation, as well as support in developing plans to take pollinator-friendly actions.
Once businesses have taken pollinator-friendly actions, they may also receive recognition for their work by logging their efforts on the publicly available mapping system, ‘Actions for Pollinators’.
Furthermore, commitment to the plan encourages and increases employee engagement through relevant training and events, and improves employee health and wellbeing, as well as supporting community engagement and strengthening relationships with local groups.
Many Origin Green verified members have undertaken actions as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. They include Country Crest, Wyeth Nutrition and Finnegan’s Farm. Some Origin Green members have adopted a pollinator-friendly planting regime, installed bee boxes or incorporated a pollinator-friendly grass mowing regime at their place of business.
Others have sponsored local groups such as Tidy Towns or raised awareness by funding a print run of the Junior Pollinator Plan for local primary schools in their vicinity.
The guideline document, Businesses: Actions to Help Pollinators, outlines a wide range of possible actions so that everyone can play a role
For more information visit pollinators.ie