Bees, Bats, and Butterflies
The importance of pollinators - such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and many other species - to global food security and nutrition has received increased international attention in recent years due to reports of declines in pollinator populations (e.g. IPBES, 2016). Reported declines are concerning because over three-quarters of leading food crops and more than one-third of global production volume comes from crops that depend in some part on pollinators. The annual market value attributable to pollinators ranges from $235 to $577 million, with high-value pollinator-dependent commodity crops such as coffee, oilseed rape, and cocoa contributing significantly to developing country economies and providing employment and income for millions of people. Pollinator-dependent crops, including many fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and oils also supply major proportions of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals to the human diet. Research shows that diverse pollinator communities in agro-ecosystems provide more stable and effective crop pollination compared with a single species, with the combined actions of different pollinators improving yield, size, quality, and shelf life for many important crops.
This webinar will highlight emerging evidence on the importance of pollinators for global food security and nutrition and how land management practices and climate change may impact the provisioning of pollination services. We will explore how pollinators contribute to nutritional security in particular, identify knowledge gaps and priorities for future research, and provide recommendations for how to maintain pollination services for a food secure future.