Sustainability, responsibility towards our planet and biodiversity all feature strongly in Educate Together’s Ethical Education curricula – whether at primary or second-level. Now this is more important than ever and thankfully more and more resources for teaching about these important areas are being made available, such as resources to support pollination projects in schools.
As part of their 35th anniversary celebrations, Gaisce – The President’s Award, has recently joined the call for action to protect one of the key players in the protection of Ireland’s biodiversity with the #BulbsForBees campaign. This initiative will see packs of bulbs sent to all second-level schools in the country, presenting a great opportunity to link it to our Ethical Education curriculum at many levels. Let’s remind ourselves why bees are so important and how will this campaign help?
In 2015, bee experts in Ireland came together to produce the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. This was the first of its kind in Ireland and came about as a response to increasingly worrying data that showed that one third of Ireland’s just under 100 wild bee species are threatened with extinction. Why was this so worrying?
Thanks to this Pollinator plan and its efforts to raise awareness, we now know that bees are the most important pollinator of crops and native plant species in Ireland. We rely on pollinators not only to help us produce much of our fruits and vegetables, but they are also important for Business, Biodiversity and Tourism (bees are worth €53m a year to the economy according to a study from the Department of the Environment).
After the initial plan which covered the period 2015-2020, a new version was developed for 2021-2025. This new updated plan calls on all of us to continue our efforts to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive, by providing these wild bees with the food, shelter and safety they need.
The plan provides evidence-based actions for a number of sectors, including schools, outlining practical ways to help. The plan as well as wide variety of resources for schools are available from www.pollinators.ie.