AGP - detail
GCP/GLO/454/NOR - Building Capacity in the Knowledge-Science-Policy Interface of Pollination Services
Project classifiers
Sustainable Crop Production Intensification
Summary text
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (lPBES) is a newly established international platform that will act as an interface between the scientific community and policymakers and aims at building capacity for and strengthen the use of science in policymaking. Although there is growing recognition of the need to use science effectively in decisionmaking, the knowledge base is uneven, with significant differences across countries and regions. There is also significant variation in the capacity to use data, information and knowledge in policy development and decision making. It is therefore widely recognised that capacity building will have to be further addressed under IPBES. Through an existing GEF-funded project, FAO has developed a protocol to identify and assess pollination deficits in crops. Several countries involved in the project have used this protocol. Local knowledge is also a resource to be tapped in assessing deficits and identifying solutions. It is proposed to enhance the science-knowledge-policy interface in pollination services by assisting additional countries to apply the protocol, invite the contribution of indigenous people and local communities to assessing pollination deficits, build the capacity in participating countries to detect trends and indications from pollination deficits, and facilitate the identification, mapping, modelling and analysis of options for action in areas experiencing such deficits. The work proposed will contribute to building science-policy interface capacities for a specific ecosystem service of relevance to potential future work of the newly-formed Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. As such, effort will be put into extracting lessons learned from building an ecosystem-service-related science-policy interface, and cooperative arrangements across institutions and countries.
Full description


Build enhanced capacity in a set of pilot countries to undertake an assessment of a key ecosystem service provided by biodiversity, and to analyze results and identify possibly policy options, as a learning process for building biodiversity  and ecosystem service-related knowledge-science-policy interfaces.

Expected outcome

Participating countries understand the extent to which their crops may be experiencing pollination deficits, and the range of options for action to mitigate the deficits with policy measures.

Expected outputs/deliverables

1.       Report of capacity building in applying the pollination deficit protocol in six additional countries

2.       Peer-reviewed publication from pooled analysis of studies applying the protocol in different agro-ecologies.

3.       Report from Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty on local knowledge and evidence of trends in pollination deficits in selected sites.

4.       Conclusions from paired researcher (or local knowledge holder)/policy maker workshop to understand results and identify range of options.

5.       Final report - summary of the main results and experiences of the project.



  1. Expand the number of countries applying pollination deficit protocol

Six countries (Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan) have applied a protocol, developed by FAO in collaboration with INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, a public research body of the French government) to identify and assess pollination deficits in crops.  To build a more global assessment, it is desirable to expand the application of the protocol to additional countries and ecologies.  In particular, more coverage in tropical Asia, South America, semi-arid regions of Africa, and island ecologies would make a more robust assessment.  Bringing in a parallel assessment in Norway would test the applicability to European conditions, and add this additional aspect.  It may also permit Norwegian partners with expertise in pollination to share their knowledge with developing country partners.  As the protocol was designed to be simple, requiring no expensive equipment, and has been tested, adapted and applied in six countries, its extension to a further four to six should be possible within the timeframe of this proposal.


  1. Build capacity to analyze trends in pollination deficits

The initial results from applying the pollination deficit proposal in the six GEF/UNEP/FAO project countries have been produced, and national partners are committed to pooling their information and contributing to a global meta-analysis of trends and patterns in pollination.  To prepare for this pooled analysis, it has been agreed that personnel at Naturalis in the Netherlands will collaborate with the head of the Head, Agricultural Automation Laboratory at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil in developing a computer programme that can handle the pollination deficit data in a standard format and permit different forms of analysis.  Following on the development of this programme, it is proposed to hold a workshop in São Paulo in April 2013 with the scientists in the original six countries, and scientists from the expanded set of countries to apply the programme to existing data, and review the common modes of analysis for the expanded set of countries.  It is expected that at least one peer-reviewed publication will emerge from this workshop.


  1. Enable Indigenous Partnership to carry out a review of local knowledge and evidence of trends in pollination deficits in selected sites.

It is recognised, within the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, that the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples and local communities must be a fundamental part of the Platform.  In this respect, the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (hosted by the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research in Rome, Italy) has expressed both its interest in engaging with the pollination work of FAO and with IPBES.  We propose to work with this partnership to undertake a review of the complex knowledge systems on pollination of local indigenous communities, that can contribute to this initial global assesment of pollination deficits.  We anticipate that UNESCO, in its role of facilitating engagement of indigenous peoples with IPBES, will be able to provide overall advice on this activity.  A particular focus on gender considerations in local knowledge of pollination deficits will form part of the review.


  1. Coordinate a process to facilitate the identification of policy options for action in areas experiencing such deficits

To extend this work beyond the science/knowledge boundary, we propose to ask the participating countries if there is interest in forming small “knowledge-science-policy” teams in their countries, made up of research personnel, representatives of indignous peoples and local communities, and personnel from policy bodies.  (FAO country offices can assist in the idenfitication of personnel from agriclture-related policy bodies). These teams would consider the outcomes of the research or local knowledge reviews, and outline the challenges and opportunities in the policy arena to address pollination deficits, including gender aspects.  A further small workshop would be held in September 2012 with representatives from these teams, to share common experiences in identifying key policy questions and possible solutions, synergies, trade-offs in addressing pollination deficits through policy measures.  In addition the workshop will consider how the outcomes of this work might lend themselves to an e-learning module along the lines of the proposed prototype Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) web-portal.

  1. Production of final reports 


In addition to the specific deliverables and reports of activities 1-4, a final report will be produced that will summarise the main results and experiences of the project.

Project duration
Jan 2013 - Oct 2013
AGP Contact
Project partner information

Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty  [local knowledge –case studies and evidence]

Brazil:  Universidade de São Paulo [Development of analytical capacity/international assistance in pollination deficits]

Netherlands:  Naturalis [Development of analytical capacity/international assistance in pollination deficits]

Participation of UNEP/GEF/FAO countries and institutions in activities:

                Brazil:  Ministry of the Environment

                Ghana: University of Cape Coast

                India:  G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development

                Kenya:  National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

                Nepal:  Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

                Pakistan: Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre

Participation of additional countries in applying pollination deficit protocol and assessing policy options; A subset [4-6] of the following:

Argentina: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Chile:  University of Santiago

Colombia: National University of Colombia/Humboldt Institute

China: Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Indonesia: Bogor Agricultural University

Zimbabwe: University of Zimbabwe

India: Keystone Center

Resource Institutions:

UNESCO (on matters of indigenous knowledge and local communities)

UNDP (on matters of capacity-building)

Geografic reference