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Campaign for bee protection launched

Πανεπιστήμιο uclan cyprus Εκστρατεία για τη Προστασία της Μέλισσας
Ακαδημαϊκή κοινότητα του Ινστιτούτου Επαγγελματικών Σπουδών (IPS) του Πανεπιστημίου UCLan Cyprus, ανακοίνωσε την έναρξη της Εκστρατείας για τη Προστασία της Μέλισσας

Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou on Friday marked the start of a campaign aimed at the protection of bees.

The campaign, which underlines the role of bees in the environment and their contribution to humanity, was launched by the academic community of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) at UCLan Cyprus University.

In her opening address Panayiotou said that “the significant role of bees for the environment and humanity has been internationally recognised by the United Nations with the establishment of May 20 as World Bee Day”.

“The yearly recurrence serves to inform the public about the importance of bees, the threats they face, as well as their contribution to addressing issues related to food scarcity and poverty alleviation in developing countries,” she said.

Panayiotou added that the European Union, acknowledging the contribution of bees to maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity, has included the protection of pollinators as a significant pillar of the European Green Deal.

“Within the framework of this initiative, various actions have been agreed upon to reverse the dramatic decline in pollinator populations observed in recent years.

“The intensification of agricultural activities and the widespread use of pesticides have been recognised by the EU as threats to pollinator populations, for which immediate measures should be taken,” explained Panayiotou, who then went on to unveil her ministry’s initiative.

“The first axis relates to the implementation of relevant legislation, such as a national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides.

“Within the framework of the plan, those using pesticides must obtain a certificate following mandatory training monitoring. The training includes topics related to environmental protection and pollinators. Additionally, pesticides should only be used as a last resort, only after considering and applying other available alternative options,” she said.

“The second axis is the support of farmers through the strategic plan with specific actions aimed at limiting the decline in pollinators.

“Such interventions aim to prioritise the use of alternative pest control methods, the maintenance of habitats and landscapes, the enhancement of biodiversity through the creation of ‘biodiversity islands’, and the support of the beekeeping sector with an annual budget of €340,000 under a beekeeping programme.”

Panayiotou then said the third axis is of particular importance, as it includes actions aimed to raise public awareness of the importance of pollinators, and the need to mitigate threats to their populations.

“Within this axis, we will cooperate with the Cyprus Beekeepers Association. In 2023, informative visits about the importance of bees were made to 76 educational institutions, such as schools and kindergartens, reaching a total of 2,768 students aged 2 to 12 years old.”

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