A Col­lec­tion of News by Moos


IPBES offi­cially estab­lished, launched and populated

pub­lished 02 Feb­ru­ary 2013 | mod­i­fied 02 Feb­ru­ary 2013

IPBES logoA new inter­na­tional science-​policy plat­form on bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tems, set up to assist gov­ern­ments and cit­i­zens to bet­ter under­stand the state, trends and chal­lenges fac­ing the nat­ural world and human­ity in the 21st cen­tury, has put in place on Jan­u­ary 28 many of the admin­is­tra­tive and staffing struc­tures needed to imple­ment its impor­tant work.

Over 500 del­e­gates, includ­ing from most of the 105 Mem­ber States of the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Plat­form on Bio­di­ver­sity and Ecosys­tem Ser­vices (IPBES), attended the first ple­nary meet­ing of the plat­form (IPBES-​1), held in Bonn, Ger­many this week.

M. Zakri, Sci­ence Advi­sor to the Prime Min­is­ter of Malaysia and Chair­man of the Malaysian Pro­fes­sors’ Coun­cil was “truly hon­oured and most hum­bled to be elected as the first Chair of the Plat­form”. M. Zakri has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in bio­di­ver­sity gov­er­nance at the national and inter­na­tional levels.

The meet­ing also took this oppor­tu­nity to elect an inter­na­tional group of renowned experts, the Mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary Expert Panel (MEP), which will ensure the sci­en­tific cred­i­bil­ity and inde­pen­dence of the IPBES work.

IPBES-​1 also decided that the United Nations Envi­ron­ment Pro­gramme (UNEP) will pro­vide the Sec­re­tariat for the Plat­form, which will oper­ate from Bonn in Ger­many and requested UNEP, the United Nations Edu­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Organ­i­sa­tion (UNESCO), the Food and Agri­cul­ture Organ­i­sa­tion of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) to estab­lish an insti­tu­tional link with the Plat­form through a col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship arrange­ment for the work of IPBES and its Sec­re­tariat.

M. Achim Steiner, UN Under-​Secretary Gen­eral and UNEP Exec­u­tive Direc­tor men­tioned in his open­ing state­ment that “the Sec­re­tariat of UNEP is priv­i­leged to be at the ser­vice of IPBES” and that it “stands ready to con­tribute to the future work of the plat­form in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with its UN partners.”

the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in IPBES is key for the rel­e­vance, impact, cred­i­bil­ity and legit­i­macy of the platform
Even before IPBES can receive for­mal requests, expec­ta­tions for the Plat­form are high. Braulio Fer­reira de Souza Dias, Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the Con­ven­tion on Bio­log­i­cal Diver­sity (CBD), when deliv­er­ing a joint state­ment of the six biodiversity-​related con­ven­tions said that, “by work­ing closely together, IPBES and the con­ven­tions can sup­port their com­mon objec­tives of the con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­able use of bio­di­ver­sity and main­te­nance of ecosys­tem ser­vices for human well-​being.” The Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties (COP) to the CBD has already requested IPBES to con­tribute to the prepa­ra­tion of the next global assess­ment on bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem ser­vices, to be launched in 2018, and to help coun­tries to imple­ment the Strate­gic Plan for Bio­di­ver­sity 20112020 and achieve the Aichi Bio­di­ver­sity Tar­gets. Sim­i­larly, requests have been made from the Con­ven­tion on the Con­ser­va­tion of Migra­tory Species of Wild Ani­mals (CMS) and the Ram­sar Con­ven­tion to sup­port their work on the con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­able use of migra­tory species of wild ani­mals and on wet­lands respec­tively.

The meet­ing also requested the devel­op­ment of a stake­holder engage­ment strat­egy for IPBES. It is expected that the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity, civil soci­ety, the busi­ness and indus­try sec­tor, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from indige­nous peo­ples and local com­mu­ni­ties, will act both as con­trib­u­tors and end users of the Plat­form.

Anne Lar­i­gaud­erie, Diver­si­tas’ Direc­tor Exec­u­tive, lead­ing the Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Sci­ence (ICSU) del­e­ga­tion to the meet­ing and Cyr­i­aque Sendashonga, Global Direc­tor of the Pol­icy and Pro­gramme Group of the Inter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Nature (IUCN), speak­ing on behalf of a group of more than 100 stake­hold­ers present at the meet­ing, stressed that “the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in IPBES is key for the rel­e­vance, impact, cred­i­bil­ity and legit­i­macy of the platform.”

What is IPBES

IPBES set-​up to pro­vide sci­en­tific sup­port for policy-​making to pro­tect the planet’s bio­di­ver­sity, its ecosys­tems and the ser­vices they pro­vide to human­ity.

IPBES was estab­lished in April 2012 in Panama City, Panama, and cur­rently has 105 Mem­ber States.

The Plat­form is an inde­pen­dent inter­gov­ern­men­tal body open to all mem­ber coun­tries of the United Nations.

Its mem­bers are com­mit­ted to build­ing IPBES as the lead­ing inter­gov­ern­men­tal body for assess­ing the state of the planet’s bio­di­ver­sity, its ecosys­tems and the essen­tial ser­vices they pro­vide to soci­ety.

Bio­di­ver­sity from ter­res­trial, marine, coastal, and inland water ecosys­tems pro­vides the basis for ecosys­tems and the ser­vices they pro­vide that under­pin human well-​being. How­ever, bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem ser­vices are declin­ing at an unprece­dented rate and the world failed to reach the CBD tar­get of a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the rate of bio­di­ver­sity loss by 2010.

In order to address this chal­lenge, ade­quate local, national and inter­na­tional poli­cies need to be adopted and imple­mented. To achieve this, deci­sion mak­ers need sci­en­tif­i­cally cred­i­ble and inde­pen­dent infor­ma­tion that takes into account the com­plex rela­tion­ships between bio­di­ver­sity, ecosys­tem ser­vices, and peo­ple. They also need effec­tive meth­ods to inter­pret this sci­en­tific infor­ma­tion in order to make informed deci­sions. The sci­en­tific com­mu­nity also needs to under­stand the needs of deci­sion mak­ers bet­ter in order to pro­vide them with the rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion. In essence, the dia­logue between the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity, gov­ern­ments, and other stake­hold­ers on bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem ser­vices needs to be strength­ened.

IPBES was estab­lished to this end. It pro­vides a mech­a­nism recog­nised by both the sci­en­tific and pol­icy com­mu­ni­ties to syn­the­sise, review, assess and crit­i­cally eval­u­ate rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion and knowl­edge gen­er­ated world­wide by gov­ern­ments, acad­e­mia, sci­en­tific organ­i­sa­tions, non-​governmental organ­i­sa­tions and indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. This involves a cred­i­ble group of experts in con­duct­ing assess­ments of such infor­ma­tion and knowl­edge in a trans­par­ent way.

IPBES is unique in that it will aim to strengthen capac­ity for the effec­tive use of sci­ence in decision-​making at all lev­els. IPBES will also aim to address the needs of Mul­ti­lat­eral Envi­ron­men­tal Agree­ments that are related to bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem ser­vices, and build on exist­ing processes ensur­ing syn­ergy and com­ple­men­tar­i­ties in each other’s work.
Next steps for IPBES

An ambi­tious agenda has been set by the meet­ing, paving the way for the sec­ond meet­ing of the plat­form (IPBES-​2), where IPBES’s forward-​looking work pro­gramme is expected to be agreed. The IPBES Sec­re­tariat should also be fully staffed and oper­a­tional by the end of IPBES-​2, pro­vi­sion­ally sched­uled for the end of 2013.

The six Biodiversity-​related con­ven­tions are:
- The Con­ven­tion on Con­ser­va­tion of Migra­tory Species (CMS);
- The Con­ven­tion on Inter­na­tional Trade in Endan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
- The Inter­na­tional Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agri­cul­ture (ITP­GRFA);
- The Ram­sar Con­ven­tion on Wet­lands;
- The World Her­itage Con­ven­tion (WHC); and
- The Con­ven­tion on Bio­log­i­cal Diver­sity (CBD).
More infor­ma­tion on IPBES is avail­able at: www​.ipbes​.net

(Source: IPBES press release, 27.01.2013)

UN Biodiversity decade

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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