SDG Pioneer for Small-to-Medium Enterprises

Roaa Kurdi

Biodiversity Specialist and Science Writer, Beesline


Middle East

Embracing the superhero within: Becoming an SDG Pioneer is like becoming a sustainability superhero, fighting to make our world greener and fairer. What's your special power for this mission?

My scientific curiosity and my journey into the world of wild bees was like falling down a rabbit hole. Countless days were spent delving into their incredible diversity and the wild flora they forage on. It was a discovery that awakened a passion I never knew existed – like finding a hidden superpower, dedicated to making the world greener and fairer.

Origin story: Please briefly describe your journey towards becoming an SDG Pioneer.

As a vet, my love for animals runs deep – big or small. A simple question from Beesline's CEO changed everything: 'What about the wild bees?' This led me into the world of wild bees. The mentorship of Beesline’s CSO (Chief Scientific Officer) elevated me. I never imagined Beesline, a skincare brand, would lead bee conservation in the region, yet our CSO's ethos of exploration showed me anything is achievable.

Turning passion into purpose: Your SDG Pioneer recognition shines a spotlight on your incredible work. Please explain the work for which you are being recognized as an SDG Pioneer and how your interest in this field developed.

Under Beesline’s Generation Beegan initiative, we've created three proactive programs. 'Guardians of the Wild' engages our customers to plant seeds for the wild bees, 'Young Guardians' raises awareness in schools and 'The Lebanese Red List of Bees' is a three-year bee-monitoring project spanning areas that are data-deficient on bee fauna across Lebanon. This initiative aims to establish the first bee conservation document in our region, following the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Every epic tale has its share of challenges: Please share some challenges and battles you've encountered while pursuing your SDG ambitions. 

Among the nearly 20,000 listed bee species, more than 10,000 lack essential data. The scarcity of information and effective research (and conservation) on these vital super-pollinators, crucial for ecosystem health, is due to insufficient funding and limited communication between scientists and potential sponsors.

Accomplishments: As part of your SDG journey, what stands out as the most rewarding? Please describe a moment that made you feel like you were unlocking a new level of impact. 

Each field day dedicated to the bee-monitoring program is rewarding. In spring, I witness the larvae emerging into eager adult bees, ready to start the pollination season. I observe digger bees meticulously crafting new nests, mining bees tunneling through wood to stockpile pollen and in schools, children's enthusiasm as they discuss intricate details about the seeds they've planted, wondering if the green wild bee will grace their flowers.

Next chapters: What’s next in your career and journey? Please give us a sneak peek!

My aim is to advance Beesline's sustainability department by forging partnerships with development programs and fellow scientists, taking bee conservation to another level. I will be pushing policies that safeguard habitats of endangered and/or endemic bees and advocating for regulations to limit the use of neonicotinoids—a pesticide linked to global bee decline. In general, Beesline aims to drive action and elevate bee conservation across the entire region.

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