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Community / Land projects / Safeguarding Pollination Services in a Changing World: theory into practice (SURPASS2)

Safeguarding Pollination Services in a Changing World: theory into practice (SURPASS2)


01/19 - 12/19


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Insect pollinators have undergone declines across the world, a result of factors including intensive agriculture, habitat loss, climate change and invasive species. This represents a major concern in Latin America (LATAM) where it threatens economically important crops and wider biodiversity. The impact of these losses in LATAM remains poorly understood, undermining the capacity to develop policies vital to mitigate pollinator losses and support both agricultural production and wider ecosystem health. A new, coherent evidence base is required, that considers impacts on individual species, their distributions and populations, the landscapes they persist in and their unique capacities to deliver pollination to different crops. Without this it will not be possible to develop the applied experimental and modelling solutions policy makers need to deliver sustainable farming economies. This proposal builds on Newton Phase 1 project SURPASS, an international collaboration between 37 participants, that identified knowledge gaps, issues, and research areas that prioritise conservation and sustainable use of LATAM pollinators. The SURPASS2 goal is to deliver evidence for the creation of resilient pollination services for sustainable economic growth, improved human health and wellbeing as well as positive environmental and agricultural outcomes. This will be addressed by five main objectives, co-designed with academics and stakeholders that establish interconnected work packages that build capacity to manage pollination services and provide tangible outcomes. Our goals will be delivered through 4 work packages: WP1) Monitoring populations and understanding their distributions: before any effective solution can be developed to manage LATAM pollinators it is crucial that we understand the current distribution of species and develop and trial approaches for long term monitoring. Only by understanding where pollinators can be found can we develop applied solutions to manage them. We will design a standardised framework to assess the status and trends of pollinator populations through existing and new monitoring schemes, including citizen science. WP2) How does the environment in which pollinators live affect them, and how does this affect capacity to provide crop pollination: Land use change and land management represent fundamental factors affecting pollinator populations. We will undertake detailed landscape scale experiments across LATAM focusing on production of economically significant crops to understand how landscape management affects pollinators and the pollination services they supply. This will provide data for models and help growers, land managers and policy makers to optimise pollination to sustainably increase crop yields and quality. We will also quantify how invasive species of pollinators impact on wild and native insect pollinators and plants. WP3) Understanding national scale deficits in pollination for key crops identifying areas where pollination services are at high risk. Using cutting edge satellite imagery we will map nationally the occurrence of key insect pollinated crops. We will link this data to the distribution of insect pollinator communities to assess if these populations provide adequate pollination, as well as modelling how resilient these communities are to species losses. As each species of insect pollinator is unique their loss can have potentially huge consequences for agricultural production. WP4) Develop a national scale predictive framework to support policy goals of maximising benefits for agricultural productivity provided by pollination. This will integrate results from WP1-3 to model pollinator communities to develop effective strategies for decision making processes for different stakeholders that benefit from insect pollination. This will provide the framework to work with stakeholders to produce a roadmap for maximising pollination services and long term monitoring in LATAM.


The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with developing countries across the world to promote the economic development and social welfare of the partner countries.

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