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Involving people to protect wild bees and other pollinators in the Mediterranean

Reference: LIFE18 GIE/IT/000755 | Acronym: LIFE 4 POLLINATORS



Wild pollinators have declined because of land-use change, intensive agricultural management and pesticide use, environmental pollution, invasive alien species, pathogens and climate change. Research suggests almost 10% of the EUs wild bees are threatened with extinction, while data are lacking for over 50%. Information is particularly scarce on the Mediterranean basin, which harbours the majority of endemic wild bees and is considered a biodiversity hotspot for conservation. In Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, France and Greece) there is inadequate awareness about the role of wild pollinators and the importance of conserving their diversity. This knowledge gap is one of the main obstacles to proper planning of successful programmes to address the main drivers behind pollinator decline and ensure sustainable management and restoration of the remaining high-value pollinator habitats.


The aim of the LIFE 4 POLLINATORS project is to improve pollinator conservation by creating a virtuous circle leading to a progressive change in practices across the Mediterranean region.

The specific objectives are to:

  • Raise citizens and stakeholders awareness on the decline of wild pollinators and the importance of pollination services for the functioning and health of ecosystems and agroecosystems;
  • Promote attitudes and behaviour favouring native wild pollinators (creation of an interactive database on wild pollinators, better information on interactions between pollinators and plants in the Mediterranean, promotion of pesticide-free agriculture and pollinator-friendly practices in rural and urban environments);
  • Enhance citizens participation in data collection and greening actions;
  • Improve general knowledge onnative Mediterranean wild pollinators and entomophilous plants (i.e. pollinated by insects) and their interactions, and on invasive alien species through citizen science monitoring activities; and
  • Promote better environmental governance, transferring data to the relevant authorities and stimulating the development of pollinator strategies or action plans in member states where they are missing (Italy, Greece and Spain).


The project will contribute to a range of EU policy and legislation, including the biodiversity strategy, Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 on invasive alien species, the thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides, the pollinators initiative and biodiversity protection under the common agricultural policy. With several actions to be carried out in Natura 2000 sites, it will also support the Habitats Directive.


Expected results:

  • Increased awareness about the project targets for at least 10% of project website and social network users (over 1 million visits expected; participation in data collection of about 20 000 citizens; dissemination material distributed to 3 000 people; two videos reaching at least 1 million people);
  • Creation of two pollinator gardens in Italy and Spain and a nursery of native bee plants (80 000 visitors expected);
  • Greater awareness about the project targets among at least 50% of the general public involved in "BIOBLITZES" (about 1 300 citizens involved);
  • Better awareness of the project targets among at least 50% of students (awareness increased for 50% of 25 teachers and 2 000 pupils in three member states) and park officers (awareness increased for 50% of 350 natural park officers from 50 parks), and management/competent authorities and administrators targeted;
  • More awareness of the project targets among at least 70% of young agronomists involved in events organised (three events for 10-15 consultants of Coldiretti in Italy; 24 meetings reaching 600 farmers in Italy and 40 in the Balearic Islands);
  • Higher level of awareness about the project targets among at least 50% of farmers involved in events organised (at least 50 agricultural farmers expected to adopt the pollinator-friendly label);
  • Increase of at least 10% in biodiversity of pollinators, wild bees and target native plants in the pilot project sites;
  • Behaviour of farmers, curators of botanical gardens and gardeners changed by at least 30% (two events in Italy and Spain on pollinator-garden training and pollinator-friendly gardening involving at least 60 people);
  • Construction of pollinator-plant networks: information transferred to managers of about 10 Natura 2000 sites;
  • Adoption by Emilia-Romagna regional authority of BEE biodiversity indicator for evaluation of rural development programme measures;
  • Six workshops in four member states to improve replication involving at least 200 environment/agriculture officers; and
  • Implementation of pollinator initiative promoted in Italy and Greece (national action plan).



Reference: LIFE18 GIE/IT/000755
Start Date: 01/10/2019
End Date: 30/09/2024
Total Eligible Budget: 2,484,015 €
EU Contribution: 1,365,747 €


Coordinating Beneficiary: Alma Mater Studiorum - Universit di Bologna
Legal Status: PAT
Address: Via Zamboni 33, 40126, Bologna,
Contact Person: Marta GALLONI
Email: Send Email
Website: Visit Website

LIFE Project Map



  • Invertebrates


  • environmental impact of agriculture
  • monitoring
  • biodiversity
  • natural environment
  • environmental protection advice
  • environmentally responsible behaviour


  • Regulation 1143/2014 - Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (22.10.2014)


Name Type
CREA-AA(Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria - Centro di Ricerca Agricoltura Ambiente), Italy Participant
EZVD(E-zavod, zavod za projektno svetovanje, raziskovanje in razvoj celovitih rešitev), Slovenia Participant
COLDIRETTI(Federazione Regionale Coldiretti Emilia Romagna), Italy, till 08/09/2021 Participant
UVIGO(Universidade de Vigo), Spain Participant
UAEGEAN(University of the Aegean – Research Unit), Greece Participant
CSIC(Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientifica), Spain Participant
Federazione Regionale degli Agricoltori dell'Emilia-Romagna from 15/03/2022 Participant