The International Convention on Biological Biodiversity specifically cites pollination as a key ecosystem function that is threatened globally.  The Săo Paulo Declaration on Pollinators (1999), based on the available global evidence at the time, reported that ‘the numbers of honeybee colonies have decreased dramatically’ and ‘the numbers of native bees are dwindling, some species seriously so’. The stated plan of action of the CBD International Pollinator Initiative is to:

1.  Monitor pollinator decline, its causes and its impact on pollination services;

2.  Assess the economic value of pollination and the economic impact of the decline of pollination services;

3.  Address the lack of taxonomic information on pollinators;

4.  Promote the conservation and the restoration and sustainable use of pollinator diversity in agricultural and related ecosystems.

These global objectives are equally relevant at the European level and reflect concerns about pollinator loss and associated risks in Europe.  In 2000, at the VIII International Pollination Symposium in Hungary, a group of pollination researchers came together to form the European Pollination Initiative. 




    Background and Organisation



Plan of Action


Value of Pollinators


Andrena apponica

















Andrena hattorfiana







The European Pollinator Initiative has an Interim Steering Committee which is facilitating the development of the network.  A number of Regional Contacts have been established, to coordinate local interests and link them to regional activities.  The next step is the formation of a range of Working Groups to focus on specific issues.




The Interim Steering Committee of the EPI:

Dr. Simon G. Potts                                                                       Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, Reading University, UK. Email:

Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter                                                         Department of Agroecology, Göttingen University, Germany.           Email:

Prof. Theodora Petanidou                                                             Department of Geography, Aegean University, Greece.                   Email:

Dr. Bernard Vaissičre                                                                    Laboratoire de Pollinisation Entomophile, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France.                                        Email:





Working Groups:

Several working groups have been established, or are proposed. If you are interested in joining one or more of these, please contact us.

Assessment of Pollinator Declines

Pollinator Taxonomy


Sustainable Management of non-Apis Pollinators

Crop Pollination

Rare plant pollination

Conservation and Restoration



















 European Pollinator Initiative Coordinated by: Centre for Agri-Environmental Research    Reading University, PO Box 237, RG6 6AR, UK