FAO's Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture

Global Pollination Project (GPP)

Several highly localized crop pollination failures have brought pollination issues to the fore. With managed honeybee populations rapidly declining and more crops being grown under intensive systems, there is good reason to identify, in multiple agroecosystems and ecologies, the practices that will prevent the loss of pollination services. Unfortunately, the level of capacity to manage pollination services, and the public awareness of their importance is very low, both in traditional and modern societies.

In response to these challenges, the "Conservation and Management of Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture, through an Ecosystem Approach" (also known as the Global Pollination Project – GPP) was developed -  funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and coordinated by FAO with implementation support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This is a full-sized project, working together with partners from seven countries: Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Nepal and South Africa. Project activities have been on-going from 2009-2014, closing in 2015. The full-size project document can be found here.

The development objective of the project is improved food security, nutrition and livelihoods through enhanced conservation and sustainable use of pollinators. The immediate objective is to harness the benefits of pollination services provided by wild biodiversity for human livelihoods and sustainable agriculture, through an ecosystem approach in selected countries.

The project outcomes have been:

  • A consolidated knowledge base, integrating traditional and scientific knowledge established.
  • Best agricultural practices for pollinator conservation and sustainable use identified, tested, implemented, documented and promoted.
  • Enhanced capacity for conservation and sustainable use of pollinators developed.
  • Awareness of conservation and sustainable use of pollinators for the general public and for policymakers enhanced.

The project showed how the services of pollination can be conserved and used sustainably in agriculture through the application of the ecosystem approach. Project outcomes were tested, evaluated and showcased in a set of representative farming systems in seven countries with a wide diversity of ecological zones and farming patterns. Each country established Study, Training, Evaluation and Promotion (STEP) sites, where field activities were undertaken, and working with farmers in each of these sites. Through the development of best agricultural practices for pollination services, and built on an extended knowledge base, capacity was increased and awareness raised to promote wise management of pollinators and their services.

At the global level, the GPP partnered with a number of highly-respected institutions and experts to develop tools and guidance material on a range of pollinator and pollination-related issues. In some cases, these tools and guidance materials were prepared to enable specific activities, such as assessing pollination deficits in crops, or undertaking participatory socio-economic valuation of pollinator-friendly practices. In other instances, guidance materials were prepared with input from GPP partner countries, such as the initial survey of good practices, or the two publications related to pollination and pesticides. As a result of project efforts, a set of tools, methodologies, strategies and best management practices were produced that can be applied to pollinator conservation efforts worldwide. These can be found here.

Major global outputs

  • Tools, guidance documents, handbooks, protocols
  • Socio-economic valuation handbook
  • Economic valuation tool
  • Deficit protocol
  • Taxonomic tools
  • Pollination Information Management System
  • Pollinators and pesticides
  • Survey of good pollination practices
  • Contribution to policy analysis paper
  • Monitoring guidebook
  • Apple orchard pollination management
  • Towards sustainable crop pollination: a guide for practitioners
  • Crop pollination deficit analysis
  • Network and partnerships created

For further information about the project, please contact: [email protected]


Seven countries make up the Global Pollination Project (GPP). Activities in each country were executed through a National Executing Agency. Each of the partner countries developed national web portals though which they share information on their achievement on the GPP.