Monday, January 10, 2011

IPBES created by UNGA

IPCC for Nature: IPBES

Press Release by UNEP:
New York/Nairobi, 21 December 2010 A new international body aimed at catalyzing a global response to the loss of biodiversity and world's economically-important forests, coral reefs and other ecosystems was born yesterday by governments at the United Nations 65th General Assembly (UNGA).

It underlines a further success of the UN's International Year of Biodiversity and should provide a boost to the International Year of Forests which begins in January 2011, and the international decade of biodiversity, also beginning in January 2011.

The adoption, by the UNGA plenary, was the last approval needed for setting up an Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Governments gave a green light to its establishment in June at a meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), but this required a resolution to be passed at the UNGA.

The independent platform will in many ways mirror the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has assisted in catalyzing worldwide understanding and governmental action on global warming.

The new body will bridge the gulf between the wealth of scientific knowledge on the accelerating declines and degradation of the natural world, with knowledge on effective solutions and decisive government action required to reverse these damaging trends.

Its various roles will include carrying out high-quality peer reviews of the wealth of science on biodiversity and ecosystem services emerging from research institutes across the globe in order to provide gold standard reports to governments.

This is a logic step forwards, and if the actors can get their acts together, a crucial step to bring back biodiversity as a a real item (as opposed to proxies such as area of forest lost) into the political debate. The effort needed to give the IPCC its weight is tremendous and ought not be underestimated, especially since they begun with a different social structure of the underlying scientific community.


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