On April 21st, after several years of international negotiations, governments approved the final operational design of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
The German city of Bonn, which also hosts the secretariats of UNFCCC, the Convention on Migratory Species, and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), won the bid to host the secretariat of the new body at a meeting held in Panama City.
IPBES aims to tackle the accelerating worldwide loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services by bridging the gap between accurate, impartial and up to date science and policy-makers.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said, “Years of often complex debate and political negotiations have today reached a positive conclusion and a milestone in terms of humanity’s future response to reversing biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems from forests to freshwaters.”
The core functions of IPBES will encompass the following areas:
· Identify and prioritise key scientific information needed for policymakers and to catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge;
· Perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages;
· Support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies; and
· Prioritize key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface, and to provide and call for financial and other support for the highest-priority needs related directly to its activities.