Story | 20 Mar, 2018

IPBES Regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia: a primer

CEESP NEWS - by IPBES Secretariat and submitted by one of the lead authors, Riccardo Simoncini

The world’s biodiversity is being lost and nature’s contributions to people are being degraded, which undermines human wellbeing.

The success of humanity’s efforts to reverse the current unsustainable use of our irreplaceable natural assets and heritage requires the best-available evidence, comprehensive relevant policy options and committed, well-informed decision makers.

Parts of Europe and Central Asia – an enormous region stretching from Iceland to Russia’s far east — are so developed and densely populated that much of their native biodiversity has been lost. Yet some of these States lead the world in policies that promote conservation and restoration, recognizing the fundamental links between biodiversity, nature’s contributions to people and human well-being.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessment reports provide the credible peer-reviewed information needed for informed decision-making. 

Growing human-induced challenges and opportunities for people across the region are the focus of a major new scientific assessment report, one of five being prepared by inclusive teams of leading international experts working with the IPBES.

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Photo: IPBES


IPBES is the global science-policy platform tasked with providing the best-available evidence to inform better decisions affecting nature - by Governments, businesses and even individual households. IPBES is often described as ‘the IPCC for biodiversity’.

Three years in the making, the IPBES assessment reports evaluate the status of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to good quality of life in each region and their respective subregions, describing current status and trends, as well as their links to drivers of change and threats, identifying policy-relevant issues affecting them. The analyses will start by looking back several decades and then project likely interactions between people and nature for decades into the future.

‘Hot Topics’ in the IPBES Assessment Report for Europe and Central Asia Include:

  • Valuation of nature’s contributions to people and wellbeing, including the role of biodiversity
  • Transboundary ecological footprint
  • Biodiversity trends across ecosystem types and taxa
  • Direct and indirect drivers underlying biodiversity change
  • Integrated future scenarios and pathways
  • Progress towards Aichi Targets and implication for the SDGs
  • Options for decision makers

The assessment report covers three subregions: Central and Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with a wide range of economic, social and political development, as well as very different levels of political and financial commitment to policies on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people. Pressures on ecosystems vary, too, with some subregions growing, both economically and in terms of their population, significantly faster than others.

The large number of States within the region also creates many transboundary issues such as water quality and quantity, fisheries, climate change, air pollution and migratory species.

The assessment report will also examine Europe’s long experience with policies such as green certification, environmental labelling, offsetting, green infrastructure and payments for environmental services, experience which puts the region in an excellent position to learn lessons and assess trade-offs and costs.


Access All the IPBES Assessment Report Message Primers Online at:
General Primer:
Land Degradation and Restoration:
Europe and Central Asia:
The Americas: