Promote Pollinators hosts first members’ meeting of 2022
On February 8th, 2022 the Promote Pollinators secretariat hosted the first members’ meeting of 2022. Although the secretariat had initially hoped to meet the members at the CBD conference in Geneva, the Omicron variant proved too persistent and the meeting took place online. 23 representatives from member countries and observers of the coalition attended the meeting.
Introducing a new observer
The meeting started with the introduction of a new observer of the network: Wikifarmer. Aggeliki Milioti, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Wikifarmer, told the attendees more about Wikifarmer’s mission to educate and empower farmers across the world. One of the topics the platform wants to educate farmers about is the importance of pollinators, the need to protect them, and how farmers can be involved in this. Wikifarmer hopes to exchange knowledge and experiences with the members of the coalition, and organise events together in the future.
Collaboration with Safeguard
The importance of exchanging knowledge was also emphasised by professor Simon Potts of the University of Reading, who introduced Safeguard. Safeguard is an EU project and aims to expand knowledge on the status and trends of European wild pollinators. The project will study threats to pollinators and the values of pollinators, and seeks to mobilise new knowledge and evidence to further develop pollinator policy.
Promote Pollinators will contribute to the four year project, and professor Potts invited the coalition’s members and observers to collaborate with Safeguard. Although the project is focused on the EU it is certainly open to connect with countries from outside the EU. It aims to collect and share knowledge about good practices and evidence that can underpin new initiatives to protect pollinators.
The functioning of the coalition
Secretary of the coalition Martijn Thijssen then discussed the ways in which Promote Pollinators can help member countries develop national strategies. Thijssen presented some of the results of a survey that was held among members and observers last year. It is clear that it is difficult to establish a direct impact of the coalition on national developments, but membership is seen by many as a driver. The members then discussed which commitments Promote Pollinators should focus on, and why.
Theory of Change workshops
One of the ways in which Promote Pollinators will aid members in developing their national pollinator strategies is through a series of Theory of Change workshops to be organized in 2022. These workshops will be hosted in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The members were enthusiastic to participate in these workshops, and spots filled up quickly. There are plans to host more workshops in the future.
At the members’ meeting Marten Schoonman, advisor bees and biodiversity at Naturalis, used The Netherlands as an example to explain the Theory of Change methodology. Member countries Portugal, Nigeria and Costa Rica will take part in the first series of workshops.
Plans for 2022
The coalition has lots of exciting plans for 2022. Elise de Groot of the secretariat introduced some of the events you can expect from Promote Pollinators this year. Our next members’ meeting will take place around October 2022. Before then, the secretariat will host several webinars in collaboration with Safeguard and FAO. These webinars will be open to the public. You can sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date and register for the events.