Harnessing cities potential to protect pollinators

Harnessing cities potential to protect pollinators

13 May 2020

Our ecosystem would collapse without pollinators, with 75% of the world’s main food crops and 85% of wild plants relying on pollinating insects. The right tools and knowledge can support local authorities and practitioners transform cities into ecosystems where pollinators thrive. A new ‘Guide for Pollinator Friendly Cities’ created by ICLEI within the framework of the EU Pollinators Initiative, supplies decision makers as well as practitioners of local authorities a step-wise approach to change their city into a safe haven for pollinators. The guide provides a set of recommendations, on both policymaking and technical aspects, based on cities’successful experiences and initiatives in wild pollinator conservation.

For policy and decision makers, the guide outlines how to create formal commitments to protect, enhance, and restore pollinator habitats, linking to international and national agreements. The guide also sheds light on how to integrate pollinator concerns into policies for spatial planning, infrastructure and housing, nature conservation and land-use management. Last but not least, local authorities can learn how to channel financial resources, foster cooperation with other sectors and capacity-building.

Practitioners in turn can learn which steps to take for creating new, restoring or connecting pollinator-friendly ecosystems and habitats, and thus, ensure their functionality and connectivity. For citywide engagement, the guide highlights how practitioners can engage and educate communities and raise awareness.

A prime example featured in the guide is proGIreg Turin Living Lab’s project ‘Farfalle in ToUr’. The project transforms green areas near mental health care facilities into habitats for pollinating insects like bees, butterflies and moths. In this project led by the University of Turin, mental health patients receive training for monitoring pollinators and their impact on the environment. Cascais -another proGIreg city mentioned in the guide - runs workshops for schools and the local community which focus on educating the public about the importance of pollinators in the local ecosystem, encouraging beekeeping and reducing the use of pesticides. A third proGIreg city, Dortmund, has plans to introduce pollinator-friendly plants to the slopes of a former landfill site and the neighboring permaculture orchard and to engage locals in helping monitoring pollinator numbers and species.

People and pollinators can live in perfect harmony. Delve in to the ‘Guide for Pollinator Friendly Cities’ to learn more.


Find the full guide, fact sheet and poster here.

Find the French and German versions on the IUCN website.

Read more about proGIreg NBS Pollinator Biodiversity here.


Image by "Ami Vitale"

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 innovation action programme under grant agreement no. 776528. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the proGIreg project and in no way reflects the views of the European Union.