Today, working group 1 used its morning session to discussion the proposal for the review of the platform. Leaving potential budget constraints (mainly) aside, the group confirmed there should be an internal and external part.
On the processes, it was agreed that the selection of expert for the review panel would be with the Bureau with support of the MEP, as setting up an own panel for this selection would be too time-demanding. The coordinated group of stakeholders objected to this, but parties agreed on this approach for pragmatic reasons. As for the coordination of the external review, it was agreed that a call for an external coordination organisation would be launched, but as fall-back option, this work could be done by a secretariat based person, which would nonetheless be located outside the secretariat to ensure more independence from it. All persons (and the organisation chosen to coordinate the external review) that get involved would be subject to the conflict of interest policy.
The timeline was maintained: the internal review would be finished for IPBES-6 in 2018, the external one for IPBES-7 in 2019, taking into account the internal one.
As for the elements of the review, there were some additional discussions. From a stakeholder perspective, an additional element was included and accepted that makes explicit reference to the stakeholder engagement and the communication. Also, many comments were made on the draft questionnaire and the MEP will invite in the coming weeks to hand in additional comments and proposals to improve the questionnaire to make it accessible.
If the review is adopted with this framing, there is some likelihood that it delivers a substantive outcome, yet, issues of independence should be carefully checked in the course of implementation.