Countrywide pollinator promotion and planting events

June 13, 2017

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China

Countrywide pollinator promotion and planting events

About the Implementing organization

Name: Elevated Honey Co

Country: China

Year of establishment: 2014

Type of organization: Community enterprise or business / Cooperative business / Public-private partnership / Indigenous group or organization

Description

Elevated Honey Co. is also committed to increasing public awareness of pollinator and beekeeper issues and increasing pollinator habitat in rural and urban places. In 2016, we began holding pollinator promotion events in Kunming, China in order to tell rural beekeepers’ stories, talk about the broken supply chain tainting honey, and the importance of pollinators to the global food web. From these first pollinator promotion events, came a new partnership with a sustainable architect in Kunming to begin designing pollinator gardens. These will be nectar producing gardens that can act as oases for pollinators in cities, towns, and villages. Our first gardens will be produced in Kunming as demonstration sites for government offices, businesses, and different groups to visit and learn how to partner with us to make these gardens in their locales. We will continue to increase the size of our promotion and planting events across China.

Nature Element

Forests / Coasts / Mountains / Wetlands / Rivers / Grasslands / Wildlife

Type of Action

Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Food security

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

Environmental Impacts

We have reached around 100 people, both adults and children, while holding pollinator promotion events in Kunming, China. From these initial events we have increased awareness across the Chinese public about how important bees are to food security, and about how to manage land in order to increase pollinator habitat. From these initial events we have secured partnerships with the Kunming Institute of Botany, Elephant Bookstore (with owner Yang Xiong), Cultural Diving (an event planning group committed to helping us find locations for our pollinator gardens), and Mengla local government in Yunnan. The plight of bees is relatively unknown among the Chinese public. Yet 1/3 of the food we eat must be pollinated, and 80 percent of pollination is performed by managed honeybee colonies. Large-scale planting initiatives for pollinators have been proven to be an effective measure in protecting this keystone species.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The food security of China is greatly intertwined with the health of their honeybee populations. Yet, most of the public is unaware of the link between pollinators and food security. They do not know how to make planting decisions that will positively create pollinator habitat or what things they can do to support beekeepers, the main source of honeybee pollination services today. We are holding events that educate about a wide range of pollinator issues, such as pesticides and habitat loss. Elevated Honey Co. has also designed specific events for children, to create a love of honeybees in them through games, cooking events, and nature walks. We are working with the Chinese Academy of Science Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden to host public walks through the botanical garden and explore pollinators and the plants they depend on. All of the public outreach events we do will link participants more closely to beekeepers through our platform.

Scalability

We have the infrastructure through our partnerships to bring these events to communities around China. We are focusing on the Kunming area throughout 2017 to formalize our planting and promotion programs. In 2018, we will begin to do similar programming in Beijing, where we have strong partnerships with Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science bee lab and with some personal contacts who can help us host events. China is an ideal country to perform mass scale planting projects, because the government has supported these kinds of planting projects in the recent past and environmental restoration has been a priority of the Xi Jin Ping administration. These projects are part of the non-profit wing of Elevated Honey Co, and as such we fundraise for these projects through grant initiatives.

Replicability

Our work with planting for pollinators closely follows a model started in the United States by the North American Pollinator Partnership. They have begun mass planting efforts in right-of-ways where power lines run, at factories such as Toyota plants or Wal-Mart stores, and in many large private landscaping companies. We are starting in Yunnan province by working with the Kunming Institute of Botany to create a comprehensive list of pollinator friendly plants that would provide a staggered nectar flow throughout the year. Next, we are working with architect Yang Xiong to design spaces for various uses that would include pollinator gardens in their design. Finally, we will take these nectar producing designed spaces to different companies and government partners to greatly increase the spaces that are pollinator oases and honey production regions.

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