Certification or Collaboration?:
Bee Campus USA: Can Certification for Pollinator Conservation be an Exclusionary Practice?
Certification under the Bee Campus USA initiative allows academic institutions and their faculty, students, administrators, and staff to be driving leaders in pollinator conservation. Certification confers wide recognition as a campus that actively practices pollinator sustainability; but can it also limit the visibility and validation of important alternative approaches and other universities practicing pollinator conservation without certification.
The University of Michigan is on its way to becoming one of the many universities in the United States certified in pollinator sustainability. Bee Campus USA, an initiative created through the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, gives college campuses the opportunity to become certified academic institutions practicing sustainable pollinator conservation. After completing a set of requirements, an application, and accepting the commitments established by Bee Campus USA, The University of Michigan will be officially certified as a collegiate campus implementing successful and sustainable pollinator conservation. While this is a win for the University of Michigan as it aligns with their sustainability goals and overall enhances campus ecosystems, requiring certification in order to be recognized as an academic institution engaged in pollinator conservation can present challenges that can cause this initiative to appear exclusionary.