The IPBES capacity building rolling plan includes a fellowship programme with 49 fellows from 37 countries. The global assessment alone has 16 fellows involved – a great support for the process. Indeed, the past years have shown that the fellows often play a critical role in the production of the assessments and there have been calls (incl. by the Open-Ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders) for the fellows to get appropriate recognition for their role by being included as authors.
The technical support unit (TSU) for capacity building has been organizing the fellowship programme over the past years, and at this sixth IPBES plenary the programme the fellows have had been a much higher visibility than previously. Not least because they organized a pre-party to the plenary (prior to the Stakeholder day) – or ‘biodiversity and culture evening’ - inviting several hundred people (presumably all registered participants of IPBES-6). The party turned out to be the only social event of this plenary, as the official reception (scheduled for after the opening ceremony of IPBES-6) was cancelled for mysterious reasons. Furthermore, at this plenary (or the first half, at least), a whole suite of fellows were present [download photo from ENB website 20 March, temporarily unavailable]. The capacity building TSU had organized a programme for them, including meetings with various IPBES groups, including experts, persons in official functions, and stakeholders.
And so it came that NeFo’s on site team (Kristina Raab and Jonas Geschke) had the chance to meet many of the fellows and introduce NeFo’s activities to them. The world café organized by the TSU between fellows and stakeholders also included other initiatives like GBIF, GEOBON, GIZ, IUCN, UNU and allowed for a few minutes of exchange between each initiative and small, rotating, groups of fellows. The group showed a great interest in the activities of NeFo and others, and it appears that both fellows and stakeholders considered the event a success. With the approaching end of 5 assessments, 33 fellows will become alumni, and an alumni network will probably be set up for everyone to stay in contact. It will be interesting to see whether the discussions of the second work programme maintains the current set up of the capacity building TSU, and activities like the fellowship programme will receive funding.
For more information on the last meeting of the IPBES capacity building task force hosted by the TSU in Trondheim, see NeFo Blog
For more information on IPBES' capacity building activities, including the fellowship programme, see IPBES/6/INF/12