Latest Highlights/News

The Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn (Germany) has recently initiated a 5-year research project on the sustainability of the “Bioeconomy” funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The project STRIVE (Sustainable Trade and Innovation Transfer in the Bioeconomy) integrates multiple research disciplines to improve the knowledge base for the design of sustainable policies and investments in the Bioeconomy. For details, please visit:

Bioeconomy is the part of the economy that relies on biological resources, products, and principles. It is a new field of research driven by diverse expectations about how bio-based innovation could contribute (or not) to sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Please support the project by providing approximately 5 minutes of your time to help obtain a representative overview of how experts around the world expect key dimensions of the Bioeconomy to affect selected SDG dimensions.

To participate, click on link below and answer a brief set of questions focusing on your specific area of expertise:  


The survey will be open until September 30th. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Lisa Biber-Freudenberger.


PESC-4 was held 12-14 June 2017 in Vácrátót, Hungary. It was co-organised by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB), the Institute of Ecology and Botany of the Hungarian Centre for Ecological Research (MTA-ÖK) and the Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research Germany (NeFo), in collaboration with the IPBES technical support units (TSU) for capacity-building and for the assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe and Central Asia, the Belgium Biodiversity Platform and the Swiss Biodiversity Forum.

60 participants coming from more than 30 countries gathered to learn more on the IPBES process and other regional initiatives building on IPBES work, such as BES-net upcoming trialogue for Eastern Europe. Government representatives attended a dialogue workshop with the authors of the assessment as part of the IPBES capacity-building programme, while the other stakeholders prepared a joint review of the technical chapters of the assessment, filling knowledge gaps when they could and suggesting ways to enhance the readability and policy-relevance of the assessment.

Find out more about the meeting and its outcomes on the ECA network website.


West African Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (WABES) is happy to announce the launch of its call for its MSc program in "Managing the Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for sustainable development in West Africa."

The program is a 2-year interdisciplinary course designed to provide students with broad, high-quality information and skills needed to facilitate the operation of science-policy interfaces such as the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), as a means for achieving sustainable development goals in West Africa. It will take place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and address participants from all 15 West African ECOWAS countries.

Click here for more information on the program or applying. Note that the deadline for applications is 31 August, 2017.

WABES is an initiative to facilitate networking and capacity-building across West Africa and beyond to support the IPBES Work Programme, in particular its assessments. WABES is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).


The Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA are pleased to announce the launch of their joint call on the following theme: Scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The call is planned to be launched in October 2017, with a closing date in March 2018 (with the submission of a pre-registration in December 2017).

The indicative global budget for this call is of more than 25 million euro.

Scientific teams will be invited to form transnational research consortia with teams from minimum 3 countries participating in the call. Proposals have to be exclusively written in English.

The research proposals will be evaluated across criteria of scientific excellence and policy/societal relevance/stakeholder engagement (for more information on stakeholder engagement in funded projects, please check the BiodivERsA Stakeholder Engagement Handbook). It is also expected that the international added value of the projects will be clearly demonstrated.

At this stage, the following countries have expressed a preliminary interest to participate to the call: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States. Austria, Belgium and Portugal are also likely to participate to the call (their participation still needs to be confirmed). The updated list of participating countries will be published on the Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA websites.

We invite you to regularly consult the Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA websites, on which information on the call will be regularly updated.


IPBES is calling for contributions to help advance the inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) in the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. This could include for example information about publications and reports, data, information about organizations, name of individual experts that work on indigenous and local knowledge.

The survey is available in English, Spanish, and French, and linked to an online Google Translator for other languages. It should take betweem 5-15 minutes to complete. The deadline for contributions: Friday, 15 September 2017.

What is the Global Assessment: The ongoing global assessment (GA) of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is seeking inputs from experts on and representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities from around the world. The GA is examining status and trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services in land, inland waters, coastal zones and oceans that have taken place over the last 50 years, as well as short and long-term future scenarios.

The GA is timed to assess the current and inform the next Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and to provide inputs to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Over 150 authors and reviewers, from over 60 countries, and numerous contributing authors are part of the GA. The inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge is central both to the overall conceptual framework of IPBES and to the scope of the GA.

We would like your input: This online CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS is intended to invite experts on ILK, holders of ILK, as well as their organizations and networks to provide inputs such as: 1-Publications (peer-reviewed and technical), reports and case studies, websites, and data; 2-Information about organizations and networks; 3-Name of individual experts.

IPBES pays explicit attention to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. We are looking for information and material that are already publicly available and do not represent sensitive or proprietary data/information.

This call for contributions is part of a series of activities designed to ensure a participatory approach to the inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge. It complements an open review process and several dialogue and consultation meetings with representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

How will this information be used: All information and files provided in this ‘call’ will be added to a database of publications, organizations, and authors to be used by the Global Assessment and by other IPBES activities. These materials will be read and assessed by authors of the Global Assessment. If the material (articles and books, reports, websites, datasets) is used as part of a given chapter, it will be properly cited and acknowledged in the assessment report.


The Meeting Report for the Global Inception and Capacity Building Meeting held last month in Kribi, Cameroon is now available for download here.

The meeting marked the start of a project looking at developing capacity for undertaking national ecosystem assessments using the IPBES methodology. The project is funded by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, through the Sub-Global Assessment Network, and the United Nations Development Programme's Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net).

The Meeting Report was co-authored by the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Africa (NESDA-CA)-Cameroon and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEPWCMC).


15 local and indigenous communities from Africa, Asia, and Latin America have been announced as the winners of the Equator Prize 2017. The winning organizations showcase innovative solutions for tackling poverty, environment, and climate challenges, and they will be honored at a celebratory gala in New York on September 17, 2017.

This year's  winners show that investments in nature are an effective and efficient pathway to sustainable development, and they also demonstrate that partnerships are crucial to success – at the international, national, and local levels. If we want to achieve the SDGs, we need to think holistically and combine multiple development benefits. Equator Prize winners do just that in their communities. In Achim Steiner’s words, “Their dedication and commitment  shows  what is possible when communities come together to protect and sustainably manage nature for the benefit of all.”  

Please read more in the official announcement here and access the blog post reflecting on lessons learnt from the Equator Initiative’s selection process.
More information about this year's Equator Prize winners is available on the website of the Equator Initiative.

A global inception and Capacity Building Meeting was held in Kribi, Cameroon, from 13-15 June 2017.
The event marks the beginning of the implementation of a project funded by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, through the Sub-Global Assessment Network, and the United Nations Development Programme's Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net). The project is looking at developing capacity for undertaking national ecosystem assessments using the IPBES methodology.
Participants from Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia and Viet Nam discussed the rational and process of undertaking national ecosystem assessments, tools and data for ecosystem assessments, and an initial scoping for assessments in each country.
Assessments will be undertaken over the next three years to be completed in 2020 and will include a national BES-Net Trialogue.


The deadline to submit abstracts for oral presentations, lightning talks, posters, and workshops for the 3rd Annual FLARE meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, Sept 29 - Oct 2, 2017, has been extended to Tuesday, June 20th! The meeting will cover a wide array of themes related to forests and livelihoods. We will build on past discussions and create new ones.

We are also very excited to announce that Dr. Peter Holmgren, Director-General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), will give a keynote presentation at the meeting.

In line with this extension, the abstract submission deadline for thematic reports around two of the FLARE meeting themes (Ethics of forest-livelihood policies, and Forests, livelihoods, and the SDGs) has also been extended to Tuesday, June 20th. These reports are commissioned and co-sponsored by Rights and Resources Initiative. Selected authors will be invited to Stockholm to present the findings of the report.

Notification of decisions will be sent by July 7th and registration will open July 8th. More information can be found in our call for abstracts for the event and the thematic reports, as well as on our webpage.

Please share this update widely!


The International Day for Biodiversity is celebrated on May 22 each year. This year's theme, Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism, centers around the important intersection of biologically diverse ecosystems and sustainable tourism.

In an effort to celebrate, support and educate, Wiley has put together a special collection of articles about biodiversity and tourism. These articles are free to read and download until June 30th. We hope you find these both interesting and informative. You can access the database here:

We invite you to share this collection with all who might enjoy!