Where We Work

The Pollinator Information Network of the Americas (formally Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network). P2 also manages the projects with the Pollinator Thematic Network (PTN), University of Sao Paulo, NBII and USGS.

International Commission for Plant-Pollinator Relationships

S.H.A.R.E. (simply have areas reserved for the environment)

The International Pollinator Initiatives listed below represent the diversity of international and national efforts to protect and promote pollinators. These projects are not P2 or NAPPC initiatives, but like our work stem from the global concern for pollinators solidified in the International Pollinator Initiative San Paulo Declaration on Pollinators. NAPPC and P2 have worked with and continue to work with key  representatives of these initiatives to help support global pollinator  populations and the agricultural and natural landscapes they support.

African Pollinator Initiative

Africa comprises over 50 countries and we don’t have a common language. Nevertheless there are many wonderful people in Africa with a deep concern for, and doing very good work in pollinator biodiversity conservation. And we do find ways to communicate with each other.

A highlight for this year was the outstanding presented that was delivered by Kwame Aido, from Ghana, at the annual FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa) meeting. This presentation was largely written by Barbara Gemmill.

Several African countries have for some time had activities concerned with pollinator research and conservation. One of these is Kenya where Dino Martins is continually producing outstanding publications. But what is really nice is that the number of participating countries is growing. A new comer is Burundi, which I’ll visit next month to teach bee taxonomy and help conduct a survey of the bees in that country. Another newcomer is Zambia where Daphne Mayes, a volunteer with the US Peace Corp, is producing a manual to help local farmers conserve pollinator biodiversity.

From the bee taxonomy side, Ros Urban and I published a catalogue on Afrotropical bees. It includes all the species, with their different name combinations and invalid names, with references to all the literature. Michael Kuhlmann, Alain Pauly and I published a guide to the bee genera and subgenera, and soon we’ll publish a LUCID electronic key to the bee genera. Laurence Packer contributed generously to barcoding our bees. We spent some time together on a field trip in South Africa. And next year we’ll meet, with Dino, in Kenya for another collecting trip, and more barcodes. Other scientists from abroad that contribute generously to African bee taxonomy are Denis Michez, from Belgium, and Bryan Danforth and Terry Griswold, from the USA.

Michael, and others, have studied pollinator host plant relations in the western coastal region of South Africa. This area has winter rain and summer drought, much like California, and is breathtakingly beautiful in spring. This summer I’ll begin a survey in the Kruger National Park to study bee/plant relations in the savannah.

Nicolas Vereecken, from Belgium, is an outstanding photographer and paid several visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also several South Africa amateur photographers are starting to take an interest in bees. As we consider education to be very important in pollinator biodiversity conservation, nice photographs are very important for stimulating an interest in pollinator biodiversity. Hopefully a coffee table book is on the horizon. Excerpts from a message to NAPPC from the African Pollinator Initiative

Brazilian Pollinator Initiative

Brazilian Pollinator Initiative in 2010

Pollinators were focused in national policies, research, celebrations (pollinators week), scientific meetings and in learning activities. Concerning policies, a national evaluation on pollinator and pollination status in Brazil is under construction that will be focused on the document Proposal of strategies and actions to consolidate the Brazilian Pollinators Network. This document was prepared by the national scientific expertise in the area, and aims to define policies and priorities in agrobusiness and conservation considering pollination as an ecosystem service. Coordinators are VLIF and AMS. In research projects we mention the beginning of FAO- GEF Project “Conservation and Management of Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture, Through an Ecosystem Approach”  that is linked with another research project financed by CNPq called Pollinators Network; both focus on the pollination of some Brazilian crops. IABIN also improved the digitized collections and bee-plant relationship network .  National Pollinator weeks were presented by Repol, a pollinator network that was originally proposed by Bahia State and now Pernambuco State also joined this local Initiative. In Bahia Pollinator week was in Mucugê, Chapada Diamantina, from October 4th to 9th. Several activities were performed in this beautiful region, and the Mucugê Route of Pollinators in the local National Park was establised for tourists and bee watchers. In this pollinators week, activities for the local population as courses, talks, as workshops were offered by REPOL Bahia. Children and small farms were also invited and their participation was very intense. The second acitivity was the week of pollinators in Juazeiro, Pernambuco, at the margins of S. Francisco River, from October 4th to October 8th.  More than 300 local people visited this week and participated in talks. Also in September, in Bahia State, in Cruz das Almas, in two days pollinators were celebrated with the support of regional meeting of Brazilian Society of Sciences Development, and more that 5000 school students and local people visited  it. Finally, concerning pollinators week, several sections in the X Iberolatinamerican Beekeeping congress, that also has a focus on stingless bees beekeeping,  had several sections on the role of bees as pollinators. The V Pollination course will be held this year in Rio Grande do Sul. This is a outstanding initiative of Repol that invited Brazilian and foreign specialists (Peter Kevan is a key person in it) to work with pollination systems and pollinators in natural Brazilian areas. More than 150 students and professionals attended to this course until now. Brazilian Pollinator Initiative, with the support of Brazilian Environmental Ministry, help financing part of these programs. Excerpts from a message to NAPPC from the Brazilian Pollinator Initiative

Columbian Pollinator Initiative

Iniciativa Colombiana de Polinizadores ICPA
Colombia no está ajena a la crisis de polinizado. Desde hace algun tiempo se ha visto la necesidad de participar en la Iniciativa Internacional de polinizadores  y por eso la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá, y el Instituto de Investigaciones en Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humbolt  unieron sus capacidades con el fin de crear la Iniciativa Colombiana de Polinizadores, con énfasis en Abejas (ICPA); con ella se busca que el país participe en la iniciativa mundial  formalizando un proyecto que siga las lineamientos propuestos en las Iniciativa Internacional.   Se pretende hacer un diagnóstico sobre el estado actual del conocimiento de la relación de los cultivos y especies vegetales promisorias con sus polinizadores abejas en Colombia, indagar sobre el estado actual de las poblaciones de polinizadores (abejas) y los factores que pueden estar incidiendo en su disminución o deterioro e identificar las estrategias a seguir para implementar  y potenciar los servicios de polinización.
Entre el 26 y el 27 de Agosto de 2010 se realizó en Bogotá  el I Taller para la Formulación plan de acción de la  Iniciativa Colombiana de  Polinizadores  con énfasis en Abejas.  Participaron  61 personas  representando a Instituciones académicas (Universidad Nacional, U. Militar Nueva Granada, U. de los Andes, U. Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Tunja), Ministerio de Agricultura y desarrollo Rural, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Instituto A. v. Humboldt,  CORPOICA,  Cadenas productivas (Abejas y apicultura, Hortifrutícola, Hierbas aromáticas y condimentos) y Asociaciones  de Apicultores
Participaron como Conferencistas  investigadores del Institulo Alexander von Humboldt y profesores-Investigadores de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia.  Además se conto con la participación de la Dra. Marina Pimentel Landeiro, Gerente del Proyecto GEF de polinizadores en Brasil,  quienes ilustraron a todos los participantes sobre temas como Biodiversidad y servicios ecosistémicos, polinización, Abejas y servicios ambientales y La iniciativa brasilera de Polinizadores y el proyecto FAO. 
El taller se desarrolló en dos partes: la primera  dedicada a  recopilar información y experiencias sobre  Polinización con Apis mellifera y Polinización con abejas silvestres  en el país. El objetivo es  generar un documento de diagnóstico del uso de Apis mellifera y abejas silvestres en la polinización de plantas promisorias, de importancia económica y en ecosistemas naturales. 
La segunda parte del taller se dedicó a la formulación de las líneas del plan de acción de la ICPA  Se definieron cuatro líneas de trabajo:
Línea de Conocimiento, conservación y restauración de la función de la polinización
Línea de Uso y manejo de polinizadores 
Línea de Educación, divulgación y participación comunitaria* 
Línea de valoración de servicio de polinización
La línea tres se consideró como un tema transversal. 
Se discutió sobre la necesidad de incluir una línea sobre política y legislación. El tema de los polinizadores debe estar incluido dentro de todas las políticas sobre biodiversidad. 
Para cada línea se propusieron metas, objetivos, acciones, indicadores, responsables y plazo de ejecución; se designaron responsables para terminar la redacción de cada línea adicionando los comentarios surgidos de la discusión general.
El paso a seguir es  hacer una publicación sobre diagnostico de la relación polinizador y plantas y presentar el Plan de acción ante las entidades pertinentes para su vinculación a las Iniciativas internacionales y divulgarlo a nivel nacional para conseguir participación mas amplia de todos los sectores interesados. Se pretende continuar con la recopilación de información sobre la interacción  planta-polinizador en Colombia.

Excerpts from a message to NAPPC from the Columbian Pollinator Initiative.

Oceania Pollinator Initiative

The Oceania Pollinator Initiative

The Oceania Pollinator Initiative (OPI) is part of the International Pollinator Initiative (IPI).  In 1996 the Conference of the Parties of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) made pollinators a priority in the program “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biological Diversity”.

In 1998 the Sao Paulo declaration proposed a framework for IPI and subsequently the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) became the coordinators of the IPI network.  So far, 5 regional IPI's have been established (Europe, North America, Africa and Brazil) with OPI the newest initiative. Excerpts from http://www.oceaniapollinator.org/index.asp

French Pollinator Initiative

Learn about the French Pollinator Initiative with their Brochure.

European Pollinator Initiative

The start of the new decade saw an explosion of new initiatives across Europe which build upon the  established base of scientific, social and political activities already focussing on pollinators. What is particularly exciting is that these new ventures share the common goal of using high quality science to underpin the development of policies and practices to better conserve pollinators and manage the services they provide.  Indeed these initiatives are direct responses to the needs of policy makers, farmers, beekeepers, conservationists and other stakeholders, and therefore aim to deliver measurable benefits across a wide range of sectors of society.  At the European level, a new project, the ‘Status and Trends of European Pollinators (STEP)’ has been established to address the drivers of pollinator loss and identify mitigation and adaptation options to reverse declines and improve the management of pollination services across the continent.  Simon Potts coordinates the STEP project which will run for 5 years and brings together leading researchers in 24 organisations from 21 countries with a budget of $5M.  Key outcomes include the first ever continental Red Data Book for bees and the development of a monitoring scheme.  You can find out more at our website www.STEP-project.net. Across Europe the Ecosystems Approach is also being widely adopted in national and international policy and pollination services are an important part of this, meaning that pollinators are increasingly being integrated into mainstream policy. Many European countries have also started their own major programmes focussing on pollinators. For instance in the UK, the ‘Insect Pollinator Initiative’, funded by a partnership of government and business, has provided $16M to support nine new projects looking at pollinators in urban, agricultural and natural environments with the shared aim of promoting innovative research to understand and mitigate the biological and environmental factors that adversely affect insect pollinators. You can find out more at our website www.bbsrc.ac.uk/pollinators.

So despite the severe declines in pollinators documented in Europe, prospects for tackling problems associated with their loss are better now than they have ever been. All these projects are inclusive, in the sense that they bring together scientists, practitioners and policy makers and include all types of pollinators and plants; equally importantly they are interested in building partnerships and welcome interactions with other projects, initiatives and individuals across the globe.

Excerpts from a message to NAPPC from the European Pollinator Initiative

FAO/UNEP/GEF Global Pollination Project

The International Pollinators Initiative is, of course, not an institution but is the result of effort, achievements and initiatives of people committed to the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators, around the world. 

The evolution of the IPI has its origins in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  Considering the urgent need to address the issue of the worldwide decline in pollinator diversity, the Fifth Conference of the Parties to the CBD established an International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators (also known as the International Pollinators Initiative-IPI) in 2000 (COP decision V/5, section II) and requested the development of a plan of action. The CBD Executive Secretary was requested by COP V to “invite the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to facilitate and co-ordinate the Initiative in close co-operation with other relevant organisations.” In November 2000, FAO organized a meeting with the participation of key experts to discuss how to elaborate the International Pollinators Initiative. Subsequently, a Plan of Action was prepared by FAO and the CBD secretariat; the Plan of Action of the IPI, was adopted in 2002 at COP 6 (decision VI/5).

The aim of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators (IPI) is to promote coordinated action worldwide to:

  1. monitor pollinator decline, its causes and its impact on pollination services;
  2. address the lack of taxonomic information on pollinators;
  3. assess the economic value of pollination and the economic impact of the decline of pollination services; and
  4. promote the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of pollinator diversity in agriculture and related ecosystems.

FAO in its role of facilitating and coordinating the initiative has prepared two reports back to the Convention on progress in the implementation of the IPI in 2008 and 2010;  these documents are attached.  We anticipate facilitating further reports and welcome messages from other initiatives and people updating us on activities and progress.

FAO implements a “Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture” (see website www.internationalpollinatorsinitiative.org )

 that provides a number of tools and information sources for conservation and sustainable use of pollinators, as its contribution to the implementation of the IPI.  These include a pollination information management system, through which the current knowledge on the pollination needs of crops can be searched;  a tool for assessing the value of pollination on a national level, and a key to the families of bees.

FAO also coordinates the ÜNEP/GEF-supported global project on “Conservation and Management of Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture, through an Ecosystem Approach”, in partnership with national institutions in Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa.   This project will be producing a number of outputs of use to pollination practitioners around the world; handbooks on applying a protocol to detect and assess pollination deficits, and a methodology for monitoring the status and trends of pollinators will soon be made available. 

Learn more about their Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture.