The Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) issued a scoping report for a thematic assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change required to address it. The assessment will provide decision makers with options to implement such change to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and the SDGs.
IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body established by countries to enhance the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development.
The Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, which oversees all IPBES scientific and technical functions, will present the scoping report (IPBES/8/4) to the IPBES Plenary for consideration at its eighth session, convening virtually from 14-24 June 2021.
The scoping report highlights that the need for rapid transformative change, which it defines as a “fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values,” became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, there are plausible pathways for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and other global goals but these necessitate “fundamental changes in development paradigms and social-ecological dynamics.” These pathways require changes in society, more sustainable use of land, water, energy, and materials, as well as changes in consumption habits, food systems, and global value chains.
The forthcoming assessment will consider different scenarios “for a sustainable world for nature and people,” in line with the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including visions of indigenous peoples and local communities. It will also assess the determinants and processes of transformative change, potential obstacles, and options for action, as well as how progress can be tracked.
The assessment will identify psychological, behavioral, social, cultural, economic, political, governance, institutional, demographic, technical, and technological factors, corresponding to the indirect drivers of change in biodiversity, that can be leveraged to achieve transformative change. It will then address their impact on the most important direct drivers of change.
In its analysis of “societal values and behaviors which underpin and co-evolve with indirect drivers of change,” the assessment will take into account ways in which values influence behavior and how this differs regionally and between levels of development. It will also take into consideration notions of good quality of life, worldviews and cultures, models of interaction between nature and people, and social narratives. Other factors to be considered include equity and the need for “just transitions.” Obstacles to achieving transformative change and lessons learned from previous transitions, crises, and transformations will also be considered.
Intended for, among others, governments, governing bodies of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), decision makers in global policy frameworks, subnational governments and local authorities, scientists, the private sector, and civil society, the assessment will strengthen the knowledge base for informed decision making in the context of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, the 2030 Agenda, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The scoping report includes a chapter-by-chapter outline of the forthcoming assessment, features a set of overarching questions for the assessment to address, and describes a methodological approach to be used in its production. It also contains information on data the assessments will draw from, capacity-building activities to support the development and uptake of the assessment, communication and outreach, and technical support. Finally, the report describes the process and timetable for the production of the assessment. Information on the scoping process is provided in document IPBES/8/INF/6.
The publication is one of two scoping reports to be considered by the IPBES Plenary at its eighth session. An SDG Knowledge Hub story about the scoping report for a nexus assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food, and health is available here. [Publication: Scoping report on assessing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change (thematic assessment) to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity] [IPBES8 Plenary] [ENB Coverage of Stakeholder Days and 8th Session of the IPBES Plenary]