Prof. Peter Kwapong Joins UN Expert Scientists to Address Government Delegates at IPBES

Prof. Peter Kwapong of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, UCC has made it to the top United Nations (UN) Expert Scientists who produced a policy-document on Global Assessment of Pollinators and Pollination.  He was one of the twelve top pollination scientists who made presentations on the Global Assessment carried out since 2014 at the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held from 22nd to 28th February, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Modeled on the U.N. Panel on Climate Change, IPBES advises governments on ways to tackle Pollinator and pollination decline and food security. As the Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of one of the six chapters of the global assessment, Prof. Kwapong and his colleagues presented and defended the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) at the Fourth Session of the IPBES to address the over 600 policy makers and government delegates from across the globe. The report underscored the vital role animal pollination play in regulating ecosystem service in nature. It is estimated that nearly 90 per cent of wild flowering plant species depend, at least in part, on the transfer of pollen by animals. These plants are critical for the continued functioning of ecosystems as they provide food, form habitats, and provide other resources for a wide range of other species. They also expressed worry about the decline in occurrence and diversity but added that there was however an abundance for certain species at local and regional scales, in North West Europe and North America. Although a lack of wild pollinator data like species identity, distribution and abundance for Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania preclude any general statement on their regional status, local declines have been recorded.  They recommended long-term international or national monitoring of both pollinators and pollination was urgently required to provide information on status and trends for most species in most parts of the world.  The scientists described the increased western honey bee hives as positive even though declines have been recorded in some European countries and North America over the same period.