Global Transformations of Food Systems for Climate Change Resilience
Preety Gadhoke, Barrett P. Brenton, Solomon Katz, Editors
Author: Jennifer Marshman
Chapter Title: Bee Cities: Pollinators, Climate Change, and Food Security
Abstract: Human and ecological health are dependent on pollinators in myriad, interconnected ways, from providing food, fiber, and medicine, to supporting the very web of life that sustains living organisms on Earth. Pollinators are responsible for pollinating an estimated 35% of global crop volume and 90% of the flowering plants on Earth. While most global crop production happens outside of urban spaces, food production, ecosystem resilience, and urban health are inextricably linked through the services provided by pollinators. Despite good evidence of pollinator population declines due to human-induced causes such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and a changing global climate, research on the human dimensions of pollinator conservation, particularly in an urban context, is small but growing. Using a case study methodology, this chapter introduces the Bee City movement in Ontario, Canada. Bee City is a conservation engagement strategy that brings together municipal leadership with urban citizens. By embedding these efforts at the municipal level, the Bee City movement facilitates public and policy discourse through the primary criteria of habitat creation, education, and celebration. Addressing pollinator declines through municipal conservation efforts is an important intervention to ensure a healthy future for people, pollinators, and the planet. With a growing number of Bee Cities across North America there is an intentional effort to foreground pollinator health in municipal planning. With active implementation, this movement has potentially far-reaching implications from increasing interest and awareness, to the creation of pollinator habitat on municipal, private, and residential property with all the associated benefits.