Call for Submissions

Indigenous and Local Knowledge on pollination and pollinators associated with food production

Deadline for Submissions: 10 October 2014

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is conducting a global assessment on pollination and pollinators associated with food production[1]. In addition to scientific knowledge, this assessment is to be based on knowledge, observations and understandings of indigenous peoples and local communities.

If you know of projects or of publications dealing with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) about plant pollinators such as birds, bats, lizards or insects like domestic/wild bees, butterflies or moths, then please let us know!

This world-wide Call for Submissions is addressed to indigenous peoples, local communities, ILK holders, ILK experts, natural and social scientists from developing and developed countries, beekeepers/honey producers and their organizations, and other relevant groups. You can contribute to the IPBES pollination assessment report by letting us know about:

  1. Past or on-going projects on indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) about pollinators, pollination and their relationships to food production. For example, this may include ILK about the pollination of local crops and wild food plants, or about pollinators as food producers (ex. honey produced by bees) or about pollinators as food (ex. birds, bats, insects as food);
  2.  Scientific and grey literature on ILK about pollinators, pollination and/or their relationship to food production;
  3. ILK holders, researchers or other knowledgeable individuals who are or have been involved in projects on ILK about pollinators, pollination and/or their relationship to food production/consumption.

Useful information may include but are not limited to:

  • Indigenous and local knowledge about pollinators, pollination networks and pollination services and how they contribute to the way of life of indigenous and local communities, and more generally to human well-being and the integrity of bio-cultural systems;
  • Indigenous and local knowledge and observations of changes in the number of pollinators and its impact on agricultural and natural biological diversity and on communities that depend on natural resources for their livelihood/food security, including for medicinal use;
  •  Local observations and interpretations of risks to pollination and pollinators due to climate change, invasive species and diseases, land-use changes, changing agricultural practices and the use of chemicals, including fungicides and insecticides.
  • Indigenous and local management practices that are relevant for pollinators and that contribute to their conservation.
  •  The contribution of indigenous and local knowledge and worldviews to non-economic valuation of impacts due to decreasing numbers and diversity of pollinators, and indigenous and local efforts to maintain or restore these services;
  • Other issues of relevance.

Contributors may wish to refer to the official chapter outline for the pollination assessment that is available on page 70 of the Report of the Second Session of the Plenary of IPBES (IPBES-2/17).

International Workshop: A limited number of contributors (ILK holders or experts) will be invited to a Dialogue Workshop to be held late November or early December 2014 (location to be determined). The workshop will bring ILK holders and experts together with IPBES co-chairs and authors to enrich the Pollination Assessment Report. A further goal will be to engage ILK holders in IPBES processes and demonstrate the potential benefits and opportunities for their communities. Invited contributors will receive a modest grant to assist them with compiling ILK from their sites and networks.

All submissions will be reviewed by the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems. As the goal is to expand baseline information on this theme, please indicate on your submission form that the information you provide may be used and eventually published in the framework of the IPBES assessment or as a relevant Case Study. Please also indicate whether you would agree that your name be included in a list of experts.

As a fundamental principle of IPBES is respect for indigenous and local knowledge, submissions should not include secret, sacred or otherwise confidential knowledge without the free, prior and informed consent of the holders of that knowledge.

To make your submission please go here

For those who have problems filling the online form, you may download the form here.

For additional information, please contact the Technical Support Unit for the IPBES Task Force at links(at)

This is the first of a series of periodic calls for submission by the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems.

[1] For biologists, the term ‘pollination’ describes a relationship between plants and animals as pollen vectors. Animals that visit flowers to eat or collect the food they provide (e.g. nectar, pollen) spread plant pollen from one flower to the next. This fertilizes the plant and triggers development of the fruit. While some peoples may describe this plant-animal interaction in similar terms, others may conceive of it differently, and still others may not acknowledge it at all. Regardless, all of these societies may possess indigenous and local knowledge that is of direct relevance to this IPBES assessment.

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