IUCN and UNEP urge governments to use science in policy decisions

19 February 2009 | News story

The need to create a scientific panel on biodiversity and ecosystems services, was one of the hot topics discussed by delegates at the UNEP Governing Council in Nairobi this week.

According to the majority of the Environmental Ministers attending the session, such a platform will ensure credibility, legitimacy and saliency of emerging scientific findings and recommendations on biodiversity and ecosystem services making them available in a coherent way to policy decision makers.

“IUCN is extremely supportive of the establishment of a scientific panel that will provide credible, legitimate and relevant scientific data and information for policy and decision makers” said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, in her intervention yesterday in Nairobi. She offered IUCN’s networks and its capacity to convene multiple stakeholders from the scientific and policy communities available to move forward in this dialogue.

Currently, the provision of scientific information on biodiversity and ecosystem services to the different policy fora is done by a multitude of mechanisms, instruments and platforms in an uncoordinated and untimely way. Delegates to the UNEP Gouverning Council agree on the need and support in general the establishment of such a platform but have not yet decided on how to present and operate it.

The Council runs from 16 to 20 February and aims to implement new initiatives to monitor and reduce significant impacts on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions, waste products and water usage.