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Insect cafes to increase urban biodiversity

Bengaluru: About 21 insect cafes will be set up to provide safe breeding grounds for a variety of insect species across different locations in Bengaluru. These cafes, a collaboration between EY Global Delivery Services (GDS) and Bhumi, supported by the Vibhinna India Foundation, will be built in prominent botanical gardens across the city.

Insect cafes are environmentally friendly structures made from recycled wood, mud and bamboo. These strategically placed frameworks provide safe breeding grounds for a variety of insect species. With urban sprawl and intensive agricultural practices posing significant threats to insect populations – especially vital pollinators such as bees – the delicate balance of the food chain has been disrupted, putting insect food security at risk. Insect cafes will aid pollination and help maintain a balanced food chain, promoting biodiversity and contributing to a sustainable planet.

The project not only serves as a conservation effort, but also strengthens local communities. By sourcing recycled wood from rural households, the project promotes waste reduction and sustainable practices, while generating income for the community. These eco-friendly habitats are made from sustainable trees such as acacia, jaali and eucalyptus and require minimal maintenance. In addition, 50% of the cafes’ costs directly support women farmers involved in timber collection, promoting sustainable livelihoods.

After the construction of the insect cafes, a study conducted by entomologists and students in collaboration with the College of Horticulture, Mysore, will monitor the impact of the cafes on insect populations. The findings are expected to be published within a year.

(Published April 21, 2024, 00:14 IST)