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UCLan Cyprus launches bee conservation campaign

UCLan Cyprus launches bee conservation campaign

The academic community of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) of UCLan Cyprus University has announced the launch of a bee conservation campaign, emphasising the insect’s key role in the environment and its contribution to humanity. As a loyal partner to IPS, the company “Melin Esti Ltd” is providing services for the smooth running of the campaign.

The announcement was made at a press conference, held at UCLan Cyprus University on March 1, 2024, under the auspices of Agriculture Minister Dr Maria Panayiotou, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Andreas Gregoriou. Environment Commissioner Antonia Theodosiou, was represented by Press and Information Officer Antonia Socratous Pedone, who highlighted the Office of the Environment Commissioner’s support for the campaign.

Also in attendance were President of the House Environment Committee Charalambos Theopemptou, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, agricultural bodies, the Department of Agriculture, the Cyprus Beekeepers’ Association, and others.

The press conference featured addresses by CEO and Chairman of the Council of UCLan Cyprus University Floros Voniatis, as well as by Permanent Secretary Gregoriou, and Pedone.

The bee conservation campaign was presented by Professor in charge of the Professional Programme of Studies in Agriculture and Husbandry Athanasia Angelou.

In her presentation, Angelou stressed that in Europe the honeybee is on the verge of extinction, given that about a third of its population is declining.

She observed that Cyprus has been facing successive environmental threats – of which the main one is climate change – for years, with continuous droughts that lead to desertification. Low regional rainfall rates, combined with global research on declining pollinator bee populations, highlight the impact of reduced fruit and vegetable production, and are now spurring global concern.

In addition to the above, land use change and habitat loss, increasing residential activity, fires, environmental pollution, intensive agriculture and the excessive use of pesticides are causes of bee decline, which leads to negative consequences for the ecological balance of the planet and, consequently for human beings. They are also among the main factors of the economic crisis, due to the increase in prices of many products.

Furthermore, over 80 per cent of crops in Europe are pollination crops. Around EUR 15 billion of the continent’s annual agricultural production is directly attributable to pollinators. Pollinators are vital for food security and biodiversity, and contribute to the production of medicines, biofuels, and more.

Therefore, UCLan Cyprus’ Institute of Professional Studies, heeding the alarming results of relevant research, decided, as part of its social commitment, to implement the “Protecting the Bee – The Role of the Bee in the Environment and its Contribution to Humanity” campaign. Its aim is to educate citizens on the importance of pollination, bees’ benefits to humankind and how we can protect them, so that we can save ourselves.

Pollination and the environment are topics of continuous interest and further study by UCLan Cyprus’ IPS, given that, via the Diploma of Professional Studies in Agriculture, IPS students acquire key knowledge in new agricultural-animal husbandry practices, always with a view to the protection of the environment.

The campaign will be based on three main pillars:

  1. Public awareness-raising via TV and radio broadcasts, newspaper articles, social media
  2. UCLan Cyprus University Institute of Vocational Studies – Farming Branch
    • Student trainings on the importance of bees in the environment and their protection
    • University Garden – Pollinator Attraction Model
    • Beekeeping Flora Enhancement – hands-on workshops
    • Placement of bee hotels to attract pollinators
    • Practical training and research on the behaviour of bees in the environment, based on climate changes, with modern technical equipment in the apiary of “Honey Esti Ltd”
    • Cooperation and exchange of knowledge with universities in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean that face similar problems. The goal is for UCLan Cyprus’ Institute of Professional Studies to become an Information Centre on protecting bees and the environment
  3. Through students’ newly-gained knowledge and information, for them to enhance public awareness-raising on protecting the bee and the environment.
    • Training seminars for beekeepers on the observance of the rules of good beekeeping practice, the enrichment of beekeeping flora and the well-being of the bee

 

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