Celebrating bees’ role in mountains


The importance of bees for maintaining the provision of ecosystem services, ensuring humankind’s well-being and promoting sustainable development – especially in mountains – was highlighted in a World Bee Day celebration organized by the Central Himalayan Institute for Nature and Applied Research (CHINAR) and VToujours on 20 May.

In recent years, there has been an alarming decline in pollinators due to improper use of pesticides, habitat degradation, unsustainable intensification of agricultural systems, pests and pathogens, and climate change. Bees and other pollinators, however, are essential for the healthy functioning of agrifood systems. They also contribute to the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals: they maintain biodiversity and vibrant ecosystems, contribute to building resilient livelihoods, and create new jobs for smallholder farmers.

Over 100 participants from different countries and technical backgrounds came together at the webinar to exchange knowledge and experiences on how to tackle the multiple threats faced by bees. Panelists discussed possible solutions such as payment for pollination services and policies for beekeeping, along with some of the potential benefits of beekeeping, including gender empowerment, livelihood generation and youth entrepreneurship.

"Honey is a prized, high-value product. Through the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative, which focuses on supporting smallholder producers in mountain areas, we are happy to support honey producers in the mountains of Bolivia and central Kyrgyzstan," said Rosalaura Romeo, Programme Officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat.

"I started keeping bees two years ago with two hives to begin with. Now I have 12 hives. There is a high demand for natural honey. Selling honey online using social media is good for my pocket money, books and paying off some of my school fees," said special guest Michelle Louies, a 13-year-old beekeeper from India.

World Bee Day 2021 provided an opportunity to call for global cooperation and solidarity to ensure that the threats posed to food security and agricultural livelihoods, environmental degradation and the protection of pollinators, including in mountains, are prioritized.

Learn more about World Bee Day

See the FAO infographic on the pollination services of forests 

Photo: ©Nachiket Mehta

Home > mountain-partnership > News