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IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) Committee

Members:

Bengt Gunnar Jonsson, Head, Europe Section
John Fitzgerald, SCB Policy Director, USA
Jeff McNeely, Global Policy Committee, USA
Mariana M. Vale, LACA Section, Brazil
James Watson, Australia, Oceania Section
Nick Oguge, Kenya, Africa Section
Salvatore Arico, France, Europe Section
Teuta Skorin Student Representative, Croatia
Marine Section: Vacant
Asia Section: Vacant
North America Section: Vacant

Mission:

The ad-hoc committee has been established to monitor the progress with the establishment of the IPBES with the aim to consider the role of SCB in this global science-policy interface. SCB supports the establishment of an IPBES and sees it as a fundamental requirement that the existing policy processes are guided by best available knowledge on critical issues and that science in its widest sense should be a primary source of this knowledge. It is our hope that IPBES will be an effective process that provide decision makers with independent and credible scientific advice and that it will be a flexible mechanisms with the ability to address a wide range of issues, including freedom to identify emerging topics and not only addressing issues requested. The committee was formed in 2009.


For more information:

IPBES website

IUCN website on IPBES


Context and Background:

“Global warming may dominate headlines today - Ecosystem degradation will do so tomorrow”

This statement is from the World Resource Institute, indicating the growing awareness that loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions and services threatens the sustainability of the human society. The resilience our ecosystems to the ongoing global change depends on the preservation of its biodiversity. Therefore the motive for conservation of biodiversity extends beyond moral and ethical considerations as it is also a matter of human well-being.

The urgency and scope of the issue calls for global action and the science-policy interface needs to be strengthened to ensure that actions are based on knowledge. This has wide support, including a vast majority of the partners within the CBD. Recently after a number of years of negotiations a consensus seems to be emerging that a new independent mechanism should be established, the IPBES. The aim is to support existing multinational environmental agreements (MEAs). As a flexible mechanism IPBES could respond to requests from MEAs and also from regional and national organizations.

SCB supports the establishment of an IPBES and sees it as a fundamental requirement that the existing policy processes are guided by best available knowledge on critical issues and that science in its widest sense should be a primary source of this knowledge.

The IPBES should mediate efficient, timely and relevant transfer of best available knowledge, packed in a format relevant for decision making. Including, i) Periodic reviews (global- and subglobal assessments), ii) Flexibility to address specific issues and iii) components of “Horizon scanning”.

To fulfill its task IPBES needs to be independent from established processes, although endorsed and recognized by an intergovernmental plenary. This also includes independence from political filtering during the compilation and synthesis of knowledge. Final summaries and conclusions might need to be “accepted” by an intergovernmental plenary, but background reports should be subject to a peer review system.