Improving knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystems

08 October 2010 | Article

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution to establish the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, IPBES, which aims to strengthen the science –policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

 This September, during the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) a resolution was formally adopted to establish a new intergovernmental mechanism to strengthen dialogue on biodiversity and ecosystem services between the science community and policymakers: IPBES - the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

IPBES will serve as an authoritative platform to assess current knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services, identify gaps and encourage further research. It will deliver methodologies and tools for decision makers and focus on capacity building on the science-policy interface , IPBES will also provide the opportunity for all relevant stakeholders, including civil society to express their needs and provide inputs and suggestions on the work programme.

During final negotiations on IPBES in June 2010 at Busan, Republic of Korea WBCSD and IUCN delivered a joint statement highlighting the potential role of the business sector in the design and implementation of IPBES. WBCSD expressed the interest of businesses to engage and participate in the platform, as users, decision makers and providers of data on biodiversity and ecosystem services (the Busan meeting report is available here; see IUCN-WBCSD statement).

During 2011 institutional arrangements regarding the establishment of IPBES will be decided. UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP have already expressed interest in hosting this Platform and their governing bodies are expected to take appropriate institutional arrangements to establish the new Platform, and define their respective roles in the next year.

IUCN strongly welcomes the decision taken in Busan to move ahead with the implementation of IPBES, and will continue to provide support to the creation of IPBES, notably through further engaging civil society, including businesses. In particular IUCN intends to support the definition and modalities of the rules and procedures for multistakeholder involvement in IPBES governance and for multistakeholder input to planning and implementation of the work programme.

For more information, please visit www.iucn.org/ipbes or contact us at ipbes@iucn.org