Third World Bee Day to be celebrated next month
In exactly a month’s time, on 20 May, Slovenia and the rest of the world will celebrate World Bee Day for the third time. The UN General Assembly proclaimed World Bee Day on 20 December 2017 as a result of cooperation between the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, as the initiator, and the Republic of Slovenia. The main purpose of World Bee Day is to raise awareness among the global public about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humanity, bearing in mind food security, global elimination of hunger, and care for the environment and biodiversity.
This year, World Bee Day will take place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing new focus to the importance of self-sufficiency in local food, in which bees and other pollinators have a vital role.
Self-sufficiency in food is of paramount importance for the country, which becomes particularly evident in crises such as the current one. Food is a basic human need that is globally accessible during peaceful times and in richer countries, while in a time of crisis and closing borders, local food supply, production and processing has proven to be extremely valuable.
Local food supply ensures food security during economic crises and reduces dependency on foreign trade, which is particularly important in the event of constrained global supply. Promoting short supply chains and local food is one of the priorities of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and a strategic guideline of Slovenian agricultural policy. Food produced in the local environment is also of higher quality, fresher and healthier. A shorter supply chain facilitates the management of potential risks related to food safety and is less likely to be exposed to various risk factors, since there are fewer of them.
World Bee Day is an opportunity for experts, politicians, economists and the general public to become actively involved in the conservation of bees, the development of beekeeping, sustainable development and the conservation of biodiversity and to plan activities that will ensure the local and global survival of bees and people, thus contributing to food security, prevention of hunger, conservation of a diverse ecosystem and achieving sustainable development goals.
As International Year of Plant Health, this year is particularly dedicated to the conservation of bees and other pollinators, since it focuses on global conservation of healthy plants. New and unexpected challenges, including the impact of climate change, an increase in international trade, a rapid loss of biodiversity and new ways of spreading pests, such as e-commerce, demand effective national, regional and global policies, organisation and action mechanisms against the spread of plant diseases and pests.
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