“ Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history - and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating “, according to the Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The report was approved at the 7th session of the plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7), which was held from 29 April to 4 May 2019 in Paris, France.
The report was released following a detailed assessment on deteriorating health of ecosystems, instigated by grave concerns about the accelerating extinction of species and the impact on people around the world. The assessment reveals that ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. Taking cognizance of the complex factors surrounding damage to biodiversity, the report underscores the importance of articulating the history of the drivers for change across the globe, including social, demographic and economic factors. Compiled by some 150 expert authors from over 50 countries in the past three years, the assessment was described as the most comprehensive of its kind.
This report presents opportunities for achieving sustainability in areas that include agriculture, forestry, marine systems, freshwater systems, urban areas and energy, highlighting the importance of adopting an integrated approach for effective policies and mechanisms. It further calls for urgent action across the globe to transform and restore nature.
For more details about the report, please click here.
Date: 08 May 2019
Scientists and government officials are convening in Paris to finalise a key assessment report on humanity's relationship with nature. The seventh session of the plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7) will bring together some of the world's leading researchers in the field of biodiversity in Paris, France, this week to work on the intergovernmental Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Report which addresses past losses and future prospects for nature and humans. The report highlights "social and ecological emergency" that the world is now facing. This includes tropical tree loss at high levels, threat to food as biodiversity declines and 'Beast of Beddau' as new millipede find.
The Global Assessment Report, which is the first of its kind since the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment published in 2005, emphasizes the importance of governments working together to develop a new global biodiversity framework. It builds on earlier IPBES assessment reports, especially the recently-released Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment and the Regional Assessment Reports for Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and Central Asia.
The report will be discussed, finalized and considered for approval during the course of IPBES7 between 29 April and 4 May, 2019. Representatives from 132 governments are expected to attend.
More details available here:
Date: 29 April 2019
IPBES (The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) is organizing a youth workshop for young professionals and practitioners, 27 - 28 June 2019 in São Pedro, Brazil. The workshop aims to expand involvement in IPBES' efforts and to increase use and uptake of IPBES products among early-career scientists, policymakers and practitioners. It will bring together Governments, organisations and networks working on issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services, to familiarize them with the work of IPBES, and explore opportunities for the young generation to contribute to IPBES' work on various scenarios and models.
IPBES is inviting nomination for participants to the workshop, latest by 6 May 2019. For more information please click here
Date: 18 April 2019
“Experts brainstorm on contribution of biodiversity and ecosystems to Cameroon’s development”, stated the headline in The Guardian Post Daily on 28 February 2019 after the interview with Ms. Prudence Galega, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) and Chair of the ongoing National Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Assessment. The bilingual National Trialogue event was held from 24 to 27 February 2019 in Mbankomo, Cameroon. The Trialogue hit both national newspaper headlines and radio news for the focus that it placed on engaging both scientists and national policymakers in dialogue on the fundamental role that nature plays in Cameroon’s development drive to achieve its Vision 2035, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post Growth and Employment Strategy.
Within the framework of BES-Net, and with facilitation and technical backstopping support of the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the leading scientists and experts from across Cameroon are working together to develop the country’s BES Assessment. The assessment is currently at a crucial stage for multi-stakeholder engagement, as the author team is finalizing the First Order Draft report and initiating peer-review. In order to achieve policy impact, the assessment needs to be demand-driven and policy-relevant, as per the guidance from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Against this backdrop, the National Trialogue on the Science-Policy Relevance of Cameroon’s BES Assessment was organized by BES-Net, MINEPDED and its local partner, the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Africa (NESDA-CA) with the aim to:
Review across and between First Order Draft Chapters for coherence and to ensure relevant policy questions are being addressed, where the gaps are, and how to improve where necessary;
Understand the expectations of policy makers regarding the usefulness of the key findings for specific policy areas;
Fine-tune policy questions where relevant, and add new ones if appropriate; and
Agree on the purpose of the Summary for Policy-Makers and how it will draw on key policy-relevant findings.
In order to ensure an iterative process of multi-stakeholder engagement, the Trialogue was divided into two parts: i) the co-authors’ meeting as an opportunity to jointly read across all chapters to ensure synergy and consistency as an integrated document; and ii) an interactive policy-dialogue meeting between the authors’ team and the National Platform for Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (NP-SPBES) to present the outputs of the co-authors’ meeting and refine further the assessment’s policy questions as per the latest government policy demands and priorities. Trialogue provided unique dialogic space, a trusted, technical and interactive environment, where the authors were able to compare and contrast the initial results of their research, identify gaps, and critically reflect on the extent to which their research addresses the key policy questions and areas of interest identified by NP-SPBES.
Although the event was not attended by indigenous people and local communities (IPLC) groups, the Trialogue methodology guided the participants in reflecting on and incorporating the diverse views and perspectives of three communities of science, policy and practice into the discussions. Accordingly, three significant agreements were reached by NP-SPBES as a way forward of the BES Assessment:
Recognize explicitly IPLC for any data and information used in the assessment process, which are sourced through contributions from these groups;
Create a section in the assessment which is dedicated to the values of rich and diverse indigenous and local knowledge on BES; and
Adapt the IPBES-recognised “multiple-evidence based” approach, through which the representative members of IPLC can participate in the review of the Second Order Draft of the assessment.
For more details about the National Trialogue event, please click here.
Date: 15 April 2019
Building on the BES-Net Caribbean Regional Trialogue on Pollinators, Food Security and Climate Resilience, Antigua and Barbuda Marine Ecosystems Protected Area (MEPA) Trust organized a national multi-stakeholder dialogue event on 27 February 2019 in partnership with the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, the Forest Division of the Department of Environment of Antigua and Barbuda and the Beekeeping Cooperative. With the aim to make the conservation of pollinator species a national effort, the event brought together a wide range of participants from the government and non-government sectors to showcase good practices within the country and deliberate on how to make available knowledge and data on pollinators more accessible across the islands.
Based on the rich discussion and information sharing, the participants jointly came up with a set of key solutions to be pursued. These solutions are to strengthen and complement ongoing customary sustainable practices promoted by local communities which are beneficial for pollinators, while at the same time supporting livelihoods. The dialogue concluded with the key messages that urgent attention needs to be given to the methods of pest control and land clearing, as well as educating public about the importance of the pollinators in sustaining the natural ecosystems in Antigua and Barbuda.
The dialogue event was made possible with the financial support of SwedBio and Forest Peoples Program.
For more details about the sharing event, please click here.
Date: 05 March 2019
Ruth Spencer, the Coordinator of the GEF/SGP in Antigua