During the first meeting between the three regional ministers for nature which took place yesterday evening (Wednesday) in La Hulpe, René Collin (CDh), Céline Frémault (CDH) and Joke Schauvliege (CD&V) discussed several common issues across their regions. These included the protection of bees and pollinators. Each region is already acting alone in the sphere, and the ministers have in particular agreed to harmonise communication on this vital subject to safeguard biodiversity. A Bee Week, common to the three regions, may also be implemented.
The ministers noted that the regions are already taking great strides, each one individually, for the protection of bees and pollinators.
For example, in Wallonia the “Maya Initiative” is galvanising 200 communes within a regional initiative, and Walloon honey will soon enjoy a protected geographical designation (known as an “IGP”). As indicated, a Bee Week has also been agreed, so as to raise the general public’s awareness of this issue. Flanders already does likewise, but on a different day. The three ministers consequently decided yesterday (Wednesday) to organise a Bee Week at the same time, thus taking place in Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels.
The federal government has also recently introduced its “Bee Initiative.” However it does not appear to have been discussed much with the regions, which do, however, have the main jurisdiction in this matter. René Collin indicated yesterday in La Hulpe, “There were few preliminary consultations on the subject, and I think that all three of us regional ministers for nature are regretting this.”