The BES-Net concept stemmed from UNDP’s commitment to supporting countries manage their biodiversity and ecosystems for development, and a specific call by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for UNDP to support the capacity building work of IPBES. BES- Net was developed with inputs from multiple stakeholders and in response to requests from Member States, in particular developing countries. BES-Net also responds to capacity building needs in key areas of UNDP’s work on biodiversity and ecosystems management.

In addressing these needs, BES-Net follows an inclusive approach, collaborating with relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and drawing on the support of many other partner organizations.

Through partnerships with the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Norwegian Environment Agency and SwedBio at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, UNDP implements BES-Net, to help countries tackle science-policy questions critical to effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems worldwide, thereby contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development.

The commitment of UNDP to supporting IPBES is set out in its biodiversity strategy, UNDP’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework 2012-2020, which was approved by the UNDP Executive Group in September 2012. This agreed strategy constitutes the basis for UNDP support for the development and hosting of the BES-Net Platform. This support, reflected in the IPBES collaborative partnership arrangement with UN Environment, FAO, UNESCO and UNDP, is aligned with UNDP’s mission to help countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

Through BES-Net, UNDP contributes its capacity building expertise at the country level, capitalize on the accumulated knowledge of best practices and challenges in the field, and bring practitioners into the science-policy arena.

The emergence of the new post 2015 development agenda and the successful positioning of IPBES as as the leading intergovernmental body for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to society, provide an opportunity to complement the core work of IPBES and support its capacity building efforts by promoting informal dialogue between science, policy and practice through BES-Net. BES-Net activities also go beyond the current IPBES work programme and support UNDP’s wider agenda and partner’s needs in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services.