Airport pollinator project enhances eco-system for sustainable future

1 April 2021

Nanaimo Airport is buzzing over its latest environmental stewardship project. The airport is exploring a pilot program with Pollinators Partnership Canada (PPC) to create habitat on its land for native pollinators such as bees.

The program would be valuable for natural ecosystems and food production. An estimated one-third of the food we eat is a result of an animal pollinator. And bees are the most important contributors.

“Our careful stewardship of our environment is one of the many ways we contribute to a sustainable future for the region we serve,” says Dave Devana, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO. “Collaborating with PPC gives us an opportunity to enhance the work we do.”

PPC is a registered charity that emphasizes conservation, education and research. “Creating habitat for native pollinators and other wildlife demonstrates the commitment of Nanaimo Airport to the community, supporting biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and enhancing ecosystem service provision,” says a PPC report.

The project is in the early stages. PPC has reviewed airport lands to identify options for the site of a pilot program. The Planning and Development Committee of the NAC Board then supported moving ahead with a pilot on 4 potential sites.

The pollinator project joins a list of Nanaimo Airport Commission green initiatives. They all fall under the umbrella of the airport’s comprehensive Environmental Management Plan. “This project proactively protects the environment and connects our business values to our social responsibilities,” Devana says.

In February the airport opened four electric vehicle fast-charging stations. They were funded by investment by the federal and provincial governments and the Commission. The stations are part of the move towards a low carbon economy and widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

And a groundwater management plan with ongoing water monitoring continues to safeguard the Cassidy Aquifer. The aquifer is a precious resource valued by all in the region.