Authoritative platform on biodiversity and ecosystems to be established

07 June 2010 | News story

IUCN and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) have today announced their support for the establishment of an overarching platform to provide independent policy‐relevant information on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“IUCN supports the creation of the proposed Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), to increase dialogue between science and policy,” says Neville Ash, Head of IUCN’s Ecosystems Management Programme. “IPBES will assess the wealth of information already available on biodiversity, ecosystems and human well-being and will encourage the generation of further research in areas where it is needed.”

In order to fully meet its objectives and answer the needs of all users and managers of natural resources, it is vital that IPBES considers all relevant sciences – environmental, social and economic - and involves governments, expert organizations, civil society and all other actors.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has demonstrated the importance and value of an interface between science and decision-making, in the field of climate change. IPBES needs to receive equally significant political and financial support so that it can do the same for biodiversity,” adds Neville Ash.

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will serve as an authoritative platform to assess current knowledge, identify gaps and encourage further research. The group will also deliver methods and tools for use by decision makers and practitioners, including the private sector.

A joint IUCN-WBCSD statement was presented to the third Intergovernmental and Multi‐Stakeholder Meeting on IPBES gathered in Korea from 7 to 11 June 2010. The statement invites all stakeholders to cooperate toward effective solutions to maintaining, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services.

It calls for a strong involvement of business in the design and implementation of IPBES. Companies themselves being information providers, they generate knowledge and good practices around the sustainable use of biodiversity. They are also decision makers and play an important role in the conservation, use and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. By bringing complementary perspectives to those from governments, business can help identify and prioritize the most relevant information gaps to be addressed by IPBES.