Launch of the UNDP-managed Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES-Net) Web Portal

This event, moderated by Midori Paxton, UNDP, discussed the BES-Net web portal as a capacity-building “network of networks” that promotes dialogue in the science, policy and practice communities for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystem services, contributing to long-term human wellbeing and sustainable development.

Paxton said the portal is an online networking, learning and collaboration platform for policymakers, scientists, knowledge holders and practitioners.

Solène Le Doze, UNDP, identified key features of BES-Net, including: an online forum to share best practice on thematic areas; a “trialogues” feature bringing together scientists, policymakers and practitioners; and updated newsletters highlighting partnerships.

David Duthie, UNDP Consultant, presented BES-Net as “a community of collaborative curators” to navigate information on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Maria Schultz, Director, SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre, underscored the role of the portal in supporting the capacity-building needs of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) community as well as for practitioner communities.

Maria van Berlekom, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), highlighted the value-added role of the BES-Net web portal in terms of its simplicity, relevant topics, and the series of services and tools it provides in offering a range of entry points for people to engage in biodiversity and ecosystem service knowledge.

Elsa Nickel, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany, said the BES-Net “trialogues” will have a three-fold impact in the management of biodiversity of ecosystem services in terms of: providing information on the global thematic assessments of IPBES; disseminating the findings of completed IPBES assessments; and facilitating dialogue between scientists, policymakers and practitioners on specific policy actions for implementation.

Tone Solhaug, Ministry of Environment, Norway, said the BES-Net web portal would help the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) community to understand “who to approach” and “where to get what” for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Erie Tamale, CBD Secretariat, underlined the role that the Portal plays in supporting Bio-Bridge Initiative (BBI) to promote technical and scientific collaboration on biodiversity-related technologies and specialized know-how, which is often lacking in developing countries.

Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES, stressed that the BES-Net web portal is a way to “strengthen and amplify” the work of IPBES, especially in terms of capacity building, and noted that the “trialogues” serve as a way to increase uptake of IPBES reports.

Tanya Abrahamse, South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), identified the capacity-building role of the BES-Net web portal as a “two way process” for sharing knowledge and expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Onno van den Heuvel, UNDP, described the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) as a global programme to develop new methodologies for biodiversity finance. He noted that BIOFIN will offer a separate module on the BES-Net web portal to support countries seeking information on biodiversity finance.

In the discussion, participants identified the importance of incorporating a multilingual dimension to the portal for non-English speaking users.


This article was extracted from Issue No. 5 (Saturday, 10 December 2016) of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS), a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). To read the full issue, click here.