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How to ensure a credible and efficient IPBES?

News of a paper considering challenges to creating an effective IPBES

A newly published paper considers three challenges for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which was established fearlier this year. The authors argue that scientists need to have a role as “early warners" and "identify pertinent topics that unify different stakeholders, and reflect the characteristics of the different regions and scales.". They conclude that "trust due to transparency will be one of the main factors that determines the success of IPBES.". Axel Paulsch of UFZ, Germany (an ALTER-Net partner) was a co-author of the paper.

Abstract

The accelerated loss of biodiversity, impaired ecosystem services, and lack of policy action pose a major threat to human welfare. The installation of an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), as decided upon at the UN general assembly in December 2010, will provide a much needed framework to better coordinate global response to biodiversity loss. The Busan Outcome laid out the foundation of the structure, function and governance of the IPBES. However, the main goal is to make IPBES credible and effective. Here we discuss three main challenges for IPBES: (1) How to identify topics for the agenda and the assessments, (2) how to organise the assessment process, and (3) how to make findings more policy relevant. In this contribution we recommend that scientists actively act as “early warners”, identify pertinent topics that unify different stakeholders, and reflect the characteristics of the different regions and scales. Science has to be independent and improve its communication e.g. through the elaboration of different models and policy scenarios. A short reflection on fairness and effectivity leads to the conclusion that trust due to transparency will be one of the main factors that determines the success of IPBES.

More information

  • View online (you may need a subscription to Science Direct)
  • Details: Katrin Vohland, Musa C. Mlambo, Luiz Domeignoz Horta, Bege Jonsson, Axel Paulsch, Sylvia I. Martinez, How to ensure a credible and efficient IPBES?, Environmental Science & Policy, Available online 1 October 2011, ISSN 1462-9011, 10.1016/j.envsci.2011.08.005. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901111001389)

The First Session of the Plenary Meeting on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is taking place from 3-7 October 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. Follow it here...

 

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