As bee mortality reaches alarming levels worldwide, UNESCO and French perfumer Guerlain will launch a five-year training and support project for beekeepers and their know-how on Thursday 17 October.
The project comes under UNESCO’s partnership with LVMH and UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and consists of four aspects: the training of beekeepers in biosphere reserves designated by UNESCO, setting up bee farms, provision of technical support and follow up, assessment of the benefits of pollination in local ecosystems.
Training and support in setting up beehives will be provided by the Observatoire français d’apidologie (OFA), in cooperation with MAB National Committees and participating biosphere reserves. Eight beekeepers in four countries will take part in the first phase of the project, which targets expanding to 44 biosphere reserves by 2024 with 88 beekeepers and 4,400 beehives.
UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, who will speak at the launch, considers that “the program will promote and protect the key role of bees as pollinators in diverse ecosystems around the world. The transmission of beekeepers’ knowledge and know-how will be facilitated through training and research, to strengthen the link between this vital biodiversity and food security and thus contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNESCO is pleased to count on Guerlain’s support to act for the planet and future generations.”
Guerlain CEO Laurent Boillot explains that the partnership was conceived during the Bee University at UNESCO in May: “It will be a new landmark in the safeguarding of bees, the symbol of our company. We are very happy to be able to work hand in hand with the experts of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.”