Pollinator Month Summary
Thank you for joining us during November’s Agrilinks series on pollinators, which was inspired by the release of USAID’s report on The Importance of Wild Pollinators for Food Security and Nutrition. One of the major goals of the theme month was to showcase the many ways that pollinators contribute to the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy, including agriculture-led economic growth, strengthened resilience and improved nutrition — and the potential impact of pollinator population declines on these goals. We also wanted to highlight strategies that incorporate pollinator conservation into agricultural activities that may be applicable to food security and nutrition programming.
During November, we received contributions to our Agrilinks series from experts around the world working to understand the critical role of pollinators in food security. We explored why coffee is so important for smallholder farmers in the tropics and the role bees play in supporting this global industry. We took a deep dive on how beekeeping and sustainable honey production provide economic opportunities to local communities while improving biodiversity through features of three USAID-supported activities in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park and the Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. We learned how wild gardens introduced into smallholder farms in Cambodia attract a variety of pollinators throughout the year, which in turn increase yields for nutrient-dense crops for household consumption and sale at local markets. We explored how important it is to use the right sampling method to monitor wild bee populations in order to answer key questions about their population status and how different management schemes impact them. We learned how research on pollinators throughout Africa is helping to address pollinator deficits by focusing on bee health, habitat protection, strengthening disease surveillance and management, modeling climate change impacts on pollinators and strengthening the capacity of farmers and national systems. We also examined strategies to conserve pollinators and pollination services in pasturelands, through forest management, by conserving tree and shrub diversity in West African parklands for shea production, and by applying integrated pest management.
In addition to our blogs, we will host a webinar on December 3rd that 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. The webinar 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 security future.
I would like to thank all of our contributors to November’s Agrilinks series — our writers, speakers and behind-the-scenes crew. This was the first theme month dedicated exclusively to pollinators and we look forward to building this discussion through more knowledge sharing and greater collaboration moving forward.