IISD- Stakeholder Day and 7th Session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7)
Highlights of the seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7), which was held from 29 April – 4 May 2019 in Paris, France, include:
- approval of the summary for policy makers (SPM) and acceptance of the chapters of the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the first intergovernmental global assessment of this kind and the first comprehensive assessment since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) released in 2005;
- adoption of the IPBES’s Rolling Work Programme up to 2030, including new assessments on: the nexus between biodiversity and water, food, and health; the determinants of transformative change; the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity; and a technical report on biodiversity and climate change intended to be prepared jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and adoption of a response to the External Review of the Platform.
Delegates celebrated the finalization of the Global Assessment by giving standing ovations to the Contributing Lead Authors’ team and the Secretariat’s Technical Support Unit (TSU). They lauded the “enormous work” that had gone into the assessment and the “unprecedented scope and quality of the report.” Delegates described the assessment as a key milestone for IPBES as well as for international discussions on biodiversity. Others noted that IPBES has delivered on the most important objective of its first work programme by providing the most comprehensive assessment of global biodiversity to date. Many also highlighted its importance as input to the development of the post-2020 biodiversity framework. Delegates gave standing ovation to outgoing IPBES Chair Robert Watson for his outstanding contribution.
More than 150 leading experts from 50 countries collaborated to produce the Global Assessment, while additional contributors raised the number of experts to 400, from a wide array of natural and social sciences. The work lasted more than three years, drawing from 15,000 references, including scientific papers, government information, and additional relevant documents. In addition to scientific knowledge, the Global Assessment systematically included indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) to integrate all forms of knowledge.
The final report offers an overview of biodiversity and ecosystem trends and closely examines them in relation to key goals of the international environmental agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It builds on previous IPBES Assessments, including the regional ones, the Pollinators’ Assessment, and the Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment. For more details, see the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary and analysis of IPBES-7.