Latest Highlights/News

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!  
Biodiversity provides the essential foundations for our very existence, livelihoods, and prosperity. It provides us with clean water, air, soil, food, medicine, and resources for jobs and growth. It underpins global tourism – one of the world’s fastest growing industries with tremendous potential for contributing to sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development. Biodiversity enriches our lives and culture with its many surprises and breathtaking wildlife, instilling in us a sense of wonder, excitement, peace and happiness. We, of course, are a part of biodiversity, too, sharing this finite and astonishingly beautiful planet with all other species, great and small.  Poetry, like literature, philosophy, music, design and all the creative arts, is often inspired by nature - landscapes, wildlife, and the natural world we live in. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that also takes nature as its focus. It is based on a system of three lines and a set syllable pattern. The first and last lines of a haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. This 5-7-5 pattern provides a simple structure around which moving images can be woven together to reflect a common respect, admiration and love for all living things on our shared planet. This simplicity of haiku helps convey the profound beauty of the world around us. UNDP, in cooperation with GEF and CBD have prepared a collection of haikus to help celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, 2017, and this year’s theme of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Download Inspired by nature: Celebrating biodiversity with Haikus here: Here is a sample, written by Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility: Once in a lifetime Let nature inspire us all We’ll rise up and act  
Blue Solutions and GRID-Arendal partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Reef Resilience Network to run a five-day training on Integrating Ecosystem Services into Coral Reef Policy and Management on March 5-10, 2017. Experts, managers and practitioners from different countries and agencies gathered in Kona, Hawaii to learn how to evaluate ecosystem services and communicate the benefits they provide to people, in order to guide sound decision making and effective management. The workshop included a field trip to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Kiholo Bay, where participants applied their new skills to assess and value the ecosystem services these places provide. Read more about this exciting training and Blue Solutions' Training Portfolio.  
The Community of Practice on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EBA) invites you to participate in their regional contest on Demonstrating evidence of Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean. UN Environment REGATTA and Practical Action are interested in documenting good examples of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean, where implementing EbA technologies and practices contribute to adaptation to climate change. The objective of this contest is to document and disseminate successful stories on the implementation of EbA technologies and practices. Ten case studies will be selected to be included in the publication of the book: "Evidence on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean." Send your case study by 20th of April 2017. Click here for more details on the regional contest and application process, and for any questions please contact Dr. Lili Ilieva:  
The BMUB-IKI funded global project "Mainstreaming EbA," implemented by GIZ, is currently carrying out a short (10 question) online survey seeking to collect information about applied methods for assessing and measuring EbA benefits (social, environmental, economic) delivered by ecosystem services, especially on storm damage protection, flood protection, drought control, control of landslides, waterflow regulation and water storage. The aim is to identify best practices and lessons learned that can serve to enhance future work to strengthen the ability of decision-makers to mainstream EbA into policy and planning processes. GIZ is hoping to learn about studies which: Assess, evaluate or measure the benefits and impacts of ecosystem based adaptation (EbA); Compare or contrast EbA benefits and impacts with those of ‘grey’ adaptation infrastructure; and/or Assess, evaluate or measure ecosystem services which relate to climate adaptation (e.g. watershed protection, drought mitigation, flood control, coastal protection, disaster-risk reduction, etc.). These could be any type of study, for example: technical investigations, project planning or appraisal processes, advocacy or awareness campaigns, training and capacity building exercises, case studies or academic research. They might have been carried out by projects, international organisations, government agencies, NGOs, research institutes, universities, consultants or the private sector. Results will be compiled as a publicly available sourcebook of EbA-relevant valuation methods but also feed into a toolbox of EbA-relevant methods being set up in coordination with the IIED/IUCN/UNEP-WCMC implemented project "Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): Strengthening the evidence and informing policy." Click here to participate in the survey.