Last December, in the wake of COP15, the city of Montréal developed a new pollinator protection plan titled Montréal: Promoting Biodiversity by Protecting Pollinators. Created jointly by three central departments (Bureau de la transition écologique et de la résilience, Service des grands parcs, du Mont-Royal et des sports, and Space for Life), the plan aims to improve the current and future living conditions of the pollinator species living on the island of Montréal.
One vision and three guidelines
To accelerate this ecological transition and to consolidate the idea of nature in the city, one vision and three directions are the guidelines of this protection plan. The vision – Montréal, a refuge for a diverse community of pollinators that supports biodiversity – is simple and explicit. The directions, meanwhile, are as follows:
- Conserve, create and connect pollinator-friendly habitats;
- Improve pollinators’ living conditions;
- Recognize the importance of pollinators for biodiversity.
These three directions are reflected in 12 orientations and 14 concrete actions, including: developing at least five pollinator-friendly ecological corridor projects throughout the territory; creating vegetated roofs, facades and curb extensions; promoting a reduction in the frequency of lawn mowing, and targeted management of green spaces; regulating pesticide use; carrying out scientific research and raising public awareness; celebrating the importance of pollinators.
Portrait and benefits of the pollinating community
On the island of Montréal, more than 430 species of pollinating insects have been identified: bees, wasps and bumblebees, butterflies, syrphid flies and bee flies and some beetles. In addition, certain birds like the ruby-throated hummingbird and the Baltimore oriole feed on nectar from plants. And finally, it so happens that mammals also promote pollination through their actions.
Pollinators play an indispensable role in agriculture and food production, making it possible to feed humans and numerous animal populations. Their presence is also crucial for ensuring the stability and functioning of land-based ecosystems by maintaining the diversity of plant communities.
Citizens’ quality of life therefore depends on the permanent role of pollinators, which contribute to the production of seeds, to the creation of landscapes and, indirectly, to the abundance of birds, butterflies and other animal groups in our communities. And urban developments carried out to promote pollinators can generate important ecosystem services, including improvement in stormwater management and a decrease in urban heat islands.
It’s clear that protecting pollinators entails considerable co-benefits for biodiversity, the population and communities. The plan, which is part of a broader approach, will guide not only the city of Montréal in its decision making, but also the entire Montréal community that cares about safeguarding pollinators.