BES-Net Newsletter - No. 15. January 2019

No. 15 - January 2019
BES-Net World
A Word from the BES-Net Team


BES-Net is a capacity building “network of networks” that promotes dialogue between science, policy and practice for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems, contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development. Find out more here =>



Since the Regional Caribbean Trialogue in Dominican Rep in September 2018, most of the participants started collecting information on the pollinators in the region. Join the iNaturalist and become a “citizen scientist” to identify more species and pests in your region!


Do you know what flowers to plant in your gardens to help bees? “Save bees by planting these” will help you out. 




The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) launched a web conference on Land Degradation and Restoration on the 14 January which will go until 4 February. Register here=> 



The BES-Net Partner’s Network now counts 104 organizations that play a key role in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

Dear Members of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network,

"We are happy to share with you the latest improvements on our web portal. The BES-Net website has a new user-friendlier design and is also available in French! We hope that the new features in French will help expand our network further to Francophone stakeholders and enhance science-policy-practice interface further beyond English-French language barriers. 


BES-Net team aims at continuously improving the network’s activities and service in 2019. We thank everyone who participated in the BES-Net Users survey last month. We are very happy to hear that more than a half of respondents are familiar with our work through the bi-monthly Newsletters and read them on a regular basis.


From Monday 21st to Thursday 24th January, national teams from eight countries assembled in wintry Cambridge for the Global Inception Workshop for national ecosystem assessments. Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia and Vietnam are Phase 1 countries supported by UNDP BES-Net and UNEP-WCMC to apply the IPBES Assessment approach at the national level. They are now joined by Phase 2 countries: Azerbeijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia and Grenada. Bringing the eight countries together allowed for both training and sharing of lessons between the countries. Our BES-Net Global Facilitator used the opportunity to share learning about the National Trialogue approach to bridging the gap between science, policy and practice. Phase 1 countries, such as Vietnam explained how the Trialogue approach had helped them strengthen their stakeholder analysis. Cameroon and Colombia are now finalising details for further Trialogue support over the next few months to help them i) fine-tune the policy-relevant questions that frame the national ecosystem assessment and ii) effectively engage and incorprate indigenous and local knowledge into the assessment.


Photo 1 - Participants from 8 countries in the Stakeholder Engagement and Policy Relevance session


The Phase 2 countries also shared expertise from Pippa Heylings and learnt from the BES-Net Trialogue initiative in a full-day session on Stakeholder Engagement and Policy Relevance of National Ecosystem Assessments. There was animated discussion about how a national ecosystem assessment can be demand-driven and then ensure that it responds to that demand by providing policy-relevant findings. There was also a session on the Summary for Decision-Makers and how this was a different beast from the technical synthesis section of the assessment report; that this is an important vehicle for communicating key findings of relevance to policy-makers and that there can be more than one SPM for different policy-makers or audiences. Pippa shared learning from the BES-Net process of co-production of the Background Documents for the Regional Trialogues on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Change. The Phase 2 countries are at the very beginning of their journey and it is critical that the framing of their assessment keeps a keen eye on both the relevance at national and local level of their findings, as well as effective stakeholder engagement throughout. They will benefit from the learning from Phase I countries in order to be strategic with their funding allocation for stakeholder engagement over the next three years. We wish them well.


We are also pleased that the Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), our implementing partner for the National Ecosystem Assessments (NEAs), held a global inception and capacity building workshop on the 25th of January in Cambridge, the United Kingdom, to kick-start phase two of the project. ‘Supporting decision-making and building capacity to support IPBES through national ecosystem assessments’ aims to build the capacity of developing countries to undertake NEAs. The workshop brought together participants from phase I  and phase II country teams and introduced the NEA process.


The workshop provided a high-level overview of the entire assessment process. Each element can then be revisited during national workshops to design and implement the assessment according to national circumstances and needs.


Photo 2 - Launching workshop on National Ecosystem Assessment (Cambridge, UK)


Country teams were joined by experienced individuals from national, regional and international biodiversity/environmental-related organisations, who helped provide support and leadership in varying aspects of NEAs. Participants included representatives of UNEP, UNDP, IPBES, CBD, European Commission, GBIF and IKI. Read more=>

Science - Policy - Practice Discussion:  Insights from David Duthie


Squeezing food into a (planetary) doughnut


Agriculture, and food, remains one of the biggest negative impacts on wild biodiversity, in addition to being a major contributor to climate change and is, perhaps, the most difficult one to reverse. Nothing makes this clearer than the report of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, a 3-year project that brought together 37 experts from 16 countries with expertise in health, nutrition, environmental sustainability, food systems, economics and political governance. 


Tamara Lucas and Richard Horton of The Lancet have written a short 2-page commentary which opens, “Civilisation is in crisis. We can no longer feed our population a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources. For the first time in 200,000 years of human history, we are severely out of synchronisation with the planet and nature. This crisis is accelerating, stretching Earth to its limits, and threatening human and other species' sustained existence. The publication now of “Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems” could be neither more timely nor more urgent.


The 47-page main report, and a 28-page summary report, also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Russian and Spanish is published this month.


The report firmly places much of the blame for our collective inability to transform our food systems on a lack of global evidence-based targets and much of the Commission’s work has been distilled down to a reference healthy diet of 2500 kcal/day (see page 5 or 10 of main/summary report)


Comparison of the reference healthy diet with my own was a sobering thought experiment (yes, no alcohol allowance), but nicely illustrates the many incremental personal, and societal, required changes underlying every exhortation to “radically transform”, so as to stay within planetary boundaries and inside Kate Raworth’s doughnut.


Highlights from BES-Net Partners

IPBES signs Memorandum of Cooperation with United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (planetary) doughnut by IPBES

On 18 January 2019, IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary Monique Barbut signed a cooperation agreement as a crucial step to greater collaboration. The purpose of the Memorandum of Cooperation is to promote cooperation between the Parties with respect to mutually relevant aspects of the activities conducted in the framework of the Convention and IPBES, with a view to promoting synergies between, avoiding overlaps and unnecessary duplication of, and ensuring effective cooperation on, such activities. Read more=>



"Living with bees": Indigenous landscape management supports pollination by Swedbio

A “Dialogue across Indigenous, local and scientific knowledge systems reflecting on the IPBES Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production” took place 21 – 25 January 2019 in the Karen community of Hin Lad Nai, Chiang Rai, Thailand, as part of the ongoing process of dialogues that seeks ways of working and co-producing knowledge across Indigenous, local and scientific knowledge systems based on equity, reciprocity and usefulness for all involved, with a Multiple Evidence Base approach. The event was co-convened by SwedBio and Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Indigenous organizations PASD and IMPECT, and UNESCO, with the Karen Indigenous community of Hin Lad Nai as a critical contributor and local host. Read more=>



Solutions in Focus: New solution in Focus brochures by GRID Arendal

GRID Arendal, a PANORAMA partner, has released several brochures from the ‘Solutions in Focus’ series of PANORAMA case studies, inspiring replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics. While ‘Investing in Coral Reefs’ focuses on the role of sustainable conservation finance in protecting coral reefs, the ‘Blue Economy’ focuses on successful blue economy initiatives for restoring or maintaining the integrity and productivity of marine and coastal ecosystems. If you want to know about Panorama solutions. Read more =>

Promoting business engagement solutions and welcoming UNDP to the partnership by PANORAMA

PANORAMA, a partnership of seven conservation and development organizations, with the aim of promoting specific solutions to local and regional challenges, has rounded up a successful 2018: 107 curated “solution” case studies were published covering a diverse range of issues, including protected area financing, ecosystem-based adaptation and organic agriculture, among others. A new “thematic community” on “Business Engagement” profiles good-practice examples of civil-society organizations working with the private sector for biodiversity outcomes. UNDP joined as co-coordinator of the “Protected Areas” theme and will document solutions from its vast project portfolio. Read more =>

CEBios granted funding by the SCBD Bio-Bridge Initiative by CEBios

The CEBioS, a programme of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), and its partners in Benin, the Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin (IRHOB) and the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), are granted funding from the SCBD Bio-Bridge Initiative (BBI). The overall objective of this project is to foster long-term cooperation between the 3 institutions on the development of a methodology to acquire reliable scientific data for rational management and conservation of aquatic resources in Benin, using sound scientific, technical, and socio-economic advice. This cooperation project proposes to manufacture Arduino sensors in order to measure physicochemical water quality parameters, such as temperature, salinity, acidity and dissolved oxygen, of the marine and the lacustrine environment around Cotonou in Benin. Data collection will constitute the first step toward constructing habitat suitability maps. The BBI aims at promoting technical and scientific cooperation to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the achievement of its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Read more >

Launch of the first Brazilian Thematic Assessment on Pollination, Pollinators and Food Production by BPBES by BPBES

The Brazilian Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BPBES) is happy to announce the launch of the Thematic Report on Pollination, Pollinators and Food Production on the 6th of February 2019! Produced in partnership with the Brazilian Network of Interactions Plant-Pollinator (REBIPP), this report will be the first of its kind produced in the country and the first ecosystem service approached as a thematic report in the context of BPBES. Stay tuned for more info here =>.


BIOFIN's 2018 Workbook available by BIOFIN

BIOFIN launched its 3rd edition of the innovative methodology for countries to develop a comprehensive biodiversity finance plan. The Workbook includes cutting edge guidance for practitioners, budget makers and policymakers and includes detailed information on implementing finance solutions. Download the full Workbook here =>.


Courses and Webinars

IPBES Web conference on Land Degradation and Restoration Knowledge Gaps and Needs

The web conference on Land Degradation and Restoration Knowledge Gaps and Needs is an opportunity for a broad spectrum of experts, knowledge holders and practitioners to collaborate, to inform the work of IPBES and catalyse further knowledge generation via interactive web-based forum discussions and webinar presentations.

Check out the courses


This free seven-week MOOC provides you with the tools to assess the policy, institutional, and economic context for biodiversity finance; conduct a financial needs assessment to achieve a country’s biodiversity goals and develop a biodiversity finance plan that identifies the most suitable finance solutions. This course will teach you how to develop financially sound and politically feasible biodiversity finance plans. The course is available in English, French, Spanish and Russian, and will run from 15 April to 31 May 2019. 


Check out the courses

São Paulo School of Advanced Science offers a course on Scenarios and Modelling on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to Support Human Well-Being (SPSAS Scenarios)

The Brazilian Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BPBES) and the InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is organizing a course on Scenarios and Modelling on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for human well-being from 01 to 14 July 2019, in São Pedro/SP, Brazil. Sponsored by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP), this course will provide graduate students with advanced knowledge and practice in the area of scenarios and modelling in biodiversity and ecosystem services and help build professional capacity to use the results of IPBES policy support tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment. The application deadline is 20 February. 


Check out the courses

The Equator Initiative announces a global call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2019

This year’s prize will be awarded to outstanding community and indigenous peoples’ initiatives that advance nature-based solutions to climate change and for sustainable development. To access the online nomination system, please visit Nominations may be submitted in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. Nominations must be submitted by 26 February 2019


Check out the initiative

Upcoming Events

The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) 

11 – 15 March 2019 Nairobi, Kenya

The 2019 UN Environment Assembly will contribute towards a holistic, inclusive, and participatory approach to development that is underpinned by human rights and recognizes the interlinkages and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development.


Check out the courses


PRESS RELEASE: India hosts the next UN conference on land degradation

7 - 18 October, 2019, New Delhi, India

India will host the next global Conference on desertification, land degradation and drought from 7 to 18 October 2019 at the Vigyan Bhavan conference centre in New Delhi. Participants from 197 Parties to the UNCCD will have access, for the first time to Earth Observation data on the trends in land degradation dating from 2000, gathered from 120 of the 169 countries affected by desertification. Ahead of COP14, government representatives gathered for a preparatory meeting from 28-30 January in Georgetown, Guyana, for the seventeenth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the UNCCD (CRIC 17).


Check out the courses

Jobs, Internships and Other Opportunities

Scientific Officer Technical Support for IPPES assessment os sustainable use of wild species (Perols, France)
Closing date: 9 February 2019


Programme and Partnerships Manager, Drylands, Innovations (Nairobi, Kenya)
Closing date: 15 February 2019


Field Coordinator - Marine biodiversity (Sint, Maarten)
Closing date: 15 February 2019



** Browse more employment opportunities in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services on BES-Net web portal**