New online platform to track pollinators and pests in the Caribbean

New online platform to track pollinators and pests in the Caribbean

Building on the discussions during the BES-Net’s Caribbean Regional Trialogue, an interactive online platform was established to jointly track pollinators and pests of plant species across the countries in the Caribbean region. This initiative encourages people to take photos of the animal species on plants they see in the gardens, fields, school, etc., and upload on the platform as ‘citizen scientists’ to help scientists record and identify pollinators and pests across the countries.
"The idea is to create a community of pollinator citizen scientists”, said Dr. Lena Dempewolf, who used the iNaturalist platform to create the Caribbean pages for data input. “It is a collaborative effort between different people which will help educate the general public, including school children and farmers. It brings everybody together to increase awareness and knowledge of useful pollinators and harmful pests. The data coming out of the initiative is free and can be used for the government policymaking and scientific research.” 
The pilot sites are open in Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia and Grenada, and the available data is also viewable at the regional level. In Trinidad and Tobago, a flyer was produced by the Ministry of Planning and Development to promote the effort as part of the country’s Vision 2030 Initiative.  
 BES-Net Trialogues are multi-stakeholder dialogues focusing on specific policy questions at the national and regional levels. The Trialogues bring together the three BES-Net communities of science, policy and practice into clear and constructive dialogue. At the regional level, Trialogues aim at strengthening the interface between science/traditional knowledge, policy and practice, and enhance national capacity to integrate findings and recommendations from the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Thematic Assessments into policy, planning and on-the-ground programmes and projects.
The Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience was organized on 4-6 September 2018 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with the aim to raise awareness of the findings of the IPBES Thematic Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and promote policy uptake of the report’s recommendations in the Caribbean region, particularly the seven IPBES Member States in the Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.