FAO's Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture

Pollination assessment

Assessing, valuing, enhancing and managing ecosystem services is a challenging task, often due to the "invisibility" of these services. Pollination is an ecosystem service that - despite the (generally) small size of its provider (pollinators) can be understood and appreciated in a more "visible" way.

"Pollination and pollinators associated with food production" was selected by the International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to be the first assessment to be undertaken and completed in 2015.

IPBES was established in April 2012, and its major goal is to provide the interface between science and policy on issues relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services. It will do through its core functions:

  • Knowledge generation (identify and prioritise key scientific information needed for policymakers and to catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge);
  • Assessments (perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages);
  • Policy support tools/methodologies (support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies); and
  • Capacity building (prioritise key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface, and to provide and call for financial and other support for the highest-priority needs related directly to its activities).

For the assessment on "pollination and pollinators associated with food production", the chapter outline of the final document was approved as part of the Work Programme 2014-2018, at the 2nd Plenary Session of the IPBES. The thematic assessment is envisaged to consist of a summary for policy makers, and other products such as technical reports, databases, software and management tools, as appropriate. The assessment will consist of six chapters.

Through funding from the Government of Norway, it was possible for FAO (who is coordinating and facilitating the implementation of the International Pollinators Initiative (IPI) to enhance this website to serve as an information resource to support the six chapters.

In summary, the six chapters will address:

  1. The diversity of pollinators and pollination systems
  2. Drivers of change of pollinators and pollination systems
  3. Trends in pollination as a keystone process in human-managed and natural systems
  4. Economic valuation of pollination services
  5. Non-economic valuation of pollination services
  6. Risks associated with the degradation of pollination services and opportunities to restore and strengthen these

This website provides a description of each of the six chapters that will be prepared for the assessment, as well as resources for information on each chapter focus. This includes selected publications, tools, guidance material and other useful information.