There are more than 20,000 species of wild bees alone, plus many species of butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats and other animals that contribute to pollination. Pollinated crops include those that provide fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils. Many of these are dietary sources of vitamins and minerals, without which the risks of malnutrition might be expected to increase. The volume of agricultural production dependent on pollinators has increased by 300% over the last 50 years, but show lower growth and stability in yield than crops not dependent on pollinators.
Between US$235 billion and US$577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on direct contributions by pollinators. For example, chocolate is derived from cacao tree seed (annual world cocoa bean crop value, US$5.7 billion) that relies on midges for its pollination. In February, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), published a ‘Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production’. It found that regional and national assessments indicate high levels of threat to pollinators, particularly for bees and butterflies. The purpose of this POST session is to explore the findings of the report with UK authors prominent in the production of the assessment and discuss the options for safeguarding pollinators highlighted in the report.
14:00 pm Huw Merriman MP, Chair’s welcome
14:05 pm Speaker Presentations
- Professor Simon Potts, Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Reading University, “Introduction to IPBES and the global status of wild and managed pollinators”
- Dr Tom Breeze, Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, University of Reading, “Economic and non-economic values of pollinators and pollination”
- Dr. Adam Vanbergen, Invertebrate Ecologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, “Threats to pollinators and policy and management responses”
- Emily Musson, Senior Policy Adviser, Nature and Pollinators Strategy Team and Mark Stevenson, Natural Science Adviser and Evidence Programme Manager, Defra, “Overview of progress on the National Pollinator Strategy”
15.05 pm Discussion
15:30 pm Chair’s closing remarks
15.35 -16.30 pm Refreshments
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