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18th July 2018 | Environment, Press Releases

Kilkenny designates Black and Amber Garden Bumblebee as County Insect

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Greens want every County to adopt a County Insect and to adopt Pollinator Plans

County Kilkenny has a new ambassador; the Garden Bumblebee (Bombus Hortorum). The initiative was proposed by Green Party Councillor and Spokesperson for Rural, Community affairs and Local Government, Malcolm Noonan as part of a broader proposal to embed the protection and conservation of biodiversity in Council activities.

Speaking today, Councillor Noonan said: “I am delighted that my proposal has been adopted by Kilkenny County Council, but now the real work begins. We adopted a Local Authority Pollinator Plan with this proposal and I have asked that as well as using this lovely black and amber bee as our County insect, that we track our activities towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure that across all sections of Council activities, we ensure the conservation, enhancement, protection and creation of habitats for bumblebees and invertebrates/”

“The scale of biodiversity loss globally over the past forty years has been frightening, and the recently adopted Heritage Bill will add further to the loss of species in Ireland.

“Yesterday, Minister Naughton reported on our progress in meeting the 17 SDGs at the UN. On environmental matters, we fall down badly. This initiative is about putting power back into the hands of communities towards conservation and using ‘citizen science’ to monitor and evaluate our progress in halting species loss. This is why I have asked that we partner with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to track our actions.

“I also believe that every County could take a similar initiative; a black and red burnet moth for County Down or a blue dasher dragonfly for County Dublin and so on. This is not just a token initiative; at our Council meeting we were given a powerful presentation from Peter Walsh of the South Kilkenny Beekeepers Association and he warned of the dire consequences of losing our pollinators.

“I am hopeful that with the designation of the first County insect, that other counties will take up this initiative. Local Authorities are best placed to lead pollinator plans within their own communities and the tidy towns movement is making incredible progress in this regard. But for now, I am hopeful that County Kilkenny will lead the way in turning the fortunes of the plight of the bumblebee.”

Full Motion Adopted by Kilkenny County Council on July 16th 2018

Proposed by Cllr Malcolm Noonan (GP) and Seconded by Cllr Pat Dunphy (FG)

That Kilkenny County Council would designate the Garden Bumble Bee (Bombus Hortorum) as our County Insect. In doing so we will endeavour to collaborate with communities, business and farmers to conserve, enhance, create and protect habitats for all bees and insects across County Kilkenny and to work with the National Biodiversity Data Centre with the support of Kilkenny Heritage Forum to monitor and evaluate the state of the population of all bumblebees and honeybees within the County through the implementation at local community level of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

This motion recognises that this black and amber bee should be synonymous with Kilkenny but also the important economic, social and environmental function of bees and biodiversity in general to society, to our collective future on this planet and towards the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in particular Goal 15 related to ‘Life on Land’.