The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will prepare two new assessment reports, covering: the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health; and the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, determinants of transformative change, and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. These two reports will be the “long-awaited nexus and thematic assessments,” the Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports.
IPBES is an independent, intergovernmental body that aims to provide evidence-based information to decision makers regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and the benefits they provide to people. The IPBES plenary, the Platform’s main governing body, met virtually from 14-24 June 2021, following the IPBES Stakeholder Days from 3-9 June, which lent support for intersectoral collaboration on biodiversity.
The plenary session approved work plans for five IPBES task forces for 2021-2022, as well as the scoping reports for two upcoming thematic assessments. By approving the scoping reports, the IPBES Plenary has initiated a process for the nominations of experts from governments and other stakeholders, and selection of assessment co-chairs, lead authors, and review editors.
Negotiations on the scoping reports were difficult, the ENB reported. Proposals were “diametrically opposed” on some issues, such as addressing climate change and energy in the nexus scoping report, referring to the Paris Agreement, and incorporating different world views and forms of knowledge. Agreement was built in part by inserting overarching paragraphs on ensuring that different world views and knowledge systems are considered when conducting the assessment.
According to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, the plenary meeting “set the foundation for IPBES to have a continued impact on halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and why this is critical to our existence.” Going forward, the Platform will need to “develop a minimum common understanding among Members” in order to hold productive and efficient formal sessions, and provide the international community with sound science on which to formulate policies to halt biodiversity loss.
Biodiversity-related concerns are expected to gain additional momentum with the negotiation and potential adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPBES8] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on scoping report for nexus assessment] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on scoping report for thematic assessment]