The 20th of May has been declared by the UN to be World Bee Day (WBD). At the second observance of WBD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with the Republic of Slovenia and Apimondia (the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations) organized a celebrational event at the headquarters of FAO in Rome. Parallel to this session there was also an observance at the UN headquarters in New York. The objective of the event was to ‘focus public attention on the role of beekeeping, bees and other pollinators in increasing food security and fighting hunger and poverty, as well as in providing key ecosystem services for agriculture’. Martijn Thijssen of Promote Pollinators was invited to speak in the panel of the event in Rome.
On the 18th of November the members of the Coalition of the Willing Promote Pollinators and some interested others joined in a meeting to exchange experiences and discuss the organization.
The originally ‘plain’ 20th of May has from this year onwards turned into a special day, on which awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind is spread around the world. On 20 December last year, the United Nations General Assembly in New York unanimously adopted the decision to proclaim 20 May World Bee Day. Initiator of this memorable development is the Slovenian Beekeeping Association. The proclamation of an annual World Bee Day is a diplomatic success for Slovenia, according to the Slovenian minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan.
A small but important step on CoP 13 on Biological Diversity
Perhaps not of the biggest international political importance, but one of the highlights of the Conference of the Parties on Biodiversity was the set up and signing of the Declaration on the Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators. Thirteen countries signed in Mexico and many countries, organisations and businesses want to join. “The declaration is a good start in worldwide protection of pollinators since they are not bind by borders”, one of the signatories declared.