Today, EMRA is delighted to participate in the launch of a new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) for 2021-2025. This new five-year roadmap aims to help pollinating insects (bees and hoverflies) and protect and enhance our wider biodiversity. In particular, EMRA welcomes Action 31, which is to ‘increase the number of Regional Assemblies who agree to partner with the Plan and support implementation within local government, where appropriate’.
When the first All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was published in September 2015, Ireland became one of the first countries in Europe to address pollinator declines. One-third of our 98 wild bee species are thre
atened with extinction. By providing simple, evidence-based actions to help provide pollinators with food, shelter, and safety, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan set out to reverse these declines in order to ensure the sustainability of our food; avoid additional economic impacts on agriculture; and protect the health of the environment. The value of this plan has been recognised in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Eastern and Midland Region (2019-2031) which highlights the practical management measures set out in the plan for the protection of our native species and biodiversity – including a reduction in the use of pesticides, management of hedgerow cutting and the retention of unmanaged roads and park areas.
New action for Regional Assemblies
EMRA is a partner on the Interreg Europe PROGRESS project whose aim is to promote improved governance for regional ecosystem services across six partner regions (in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Hungary and Romania). At the core of this project is the identification of Good Practices (i.e., methodologies, projects, processes, techniques) that have the potential to be transferred and emulated in our partner regions and improve policy implementation.
In the 1st round of stakeholder engagement and international exchange, the AIPP was identified as a Good Practice and presented to project partners and stakeholders at two international online events (March and June 2020). Representatives from local authorities across the EMRA region, as well as key government departments and agencies were in attendance, as well as equivalents from across Europe. Following peer-review, the AIPP ranked first out of the nine Good Practices which were proposed and partners expressed strong interest in emulating the AIPP in their own regions.
This exchange of experience highlighted the potential role of the Regional Assemblies in supporting the implementation of the plan in co-operation with local authorities and other key regional actors. As a direct result of this engagement between EMRA and the AIPP team, a new action has been included in the new AIPP (Action 31) which recognises the potential for Regional Assemblies to support implementation with local government, and also to promote the plan to local, regional and national stakeholders -both nationally and internationally – through involvement with EU projects such as Interreg PROGRESS.
Implementing the action
While the new AIPP is being launched today, implementation of the Action is already taking place! In addition to outputs from the 1st phase of thematic exchange on the PROGRESS project (i.e., international exchange events and inclusion of the AIPP in the 1st project Handbook of Good Practice and on the Interreg Europe website), the PROGRESS communications team in CREAF, Barcelona – in collaboration with EMRA – is developing a short video introducing the AIPP which is targeted at a E
uropean audience. In addition, a number of PROGRESS partners are in the process of developing a proposal for a Pilot Action based on the AIPP. Furthermore, the EIP-AGRI Protecting Farmland Pollinators project – which is aligned with the AIPP farmland pollinator guidelines published in 2017 – was presented as a Good Practice to PROGRESS partners at an online seminar on Monday, 22nd March 2021. The engagement continues!
To access and learn more about the new AIPP, click here.
To keep up-to-date with our work on PROGRESS, subscribe to the PROGRESS newsletter and follow developments on the project website and social media channels : https://linktr.ee/interregprogress.
26th March 2021