Montreal takes action to protect pollinators as COP15 approaches

Frederic Lacroix-Couture, The Canadian Press

Montreal, which is preparing to host COP15 on biodiversity in December, announces the adoption of a five-year action plan to better protect pollinators.

In particular, the City wants to modify the regulations of its boroughs to promote the development of vegetable gardens and mixed gardens on the facade, as well as reduce the frequency of lawn mowing on its territory starting next spring.

The plan presented on Wednesday includes a total of 14 actions spread over three pillars focusing on the enhancement of natural environments. No budget related to the application of the measures has been announced.

The plan also aims to increase the land area of ​​protected natural environments from 8 to 10% by 2030, which requires the addition of approximately 1,000 hectares, or the equivalent of five times Mount Royal, specifies the City. .

In the same vein, Montreal wants to develop at least five ecological corridor projects favorable to pollinators.

« When it comes time to protect biodiversity and the food chain, pollinators are extremely important because a third of the world’s food depends on pollination, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante at a press conference. at the Insectarium.

The municipality is committed to monitoring the evolution of the state of pollinator populations. In 2020, a census counted at least 435 species of insects.

Alongside the Mayor, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, pointed out that pollinators are currently in decline, although they play an essential role for nature and agriculture. .

« Their population has plummeted mainly due to the fragmentation of their habitats, land use change, the use of chemicals and pesticides, intensive farming and climate change, » he said. she listed.

The Quebec metropolis is playing a leading role in the biodiversity conversation and can serve as an example to other cities around the world, said Mrs. Mrema, who welcomed the initiative.

The protection plan presented corresponds to one of the 21 objectives of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework which will be discussed at the time of COP15, from December 7 to 19.

This framework advocates for an increase in green and blue spaces in urban and densely populated areas for human health and well-being.

« Since the majority of the population lives in urban areas all over the planet, well, cities have a major role to play in protecting biodiversity and maintaining the quality of life, » said Ms. Plante.

The party Ensemble Montréal forming the official opposition to the city hall of Montreal said, for its part, to find it « a pity » that the administration of the mayor waited for the upcoming COP15 to unveil its plan four years later. have made a commitment to develop such a policy.

Mrs. Mrema hopes that the UN meeting will conclude with the adoption of a “transformative, realistic and ambitious” global framework that will allow decision-makers to base their future actions to reverse the decline of pollinators.

This article was produced with the financial support of the Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.


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