A bottom-up contribution of European and Central Asian experts to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
"The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) aims at strengthening capacity for the effective use of science in decision-making at all levels" (www.ipbes.net). IPBES was established as a global science-policy interface in 2012 and it has the tasks to "synthesize, review, assess and critically evaluate relevant information and knowledge generated worldwide by governments, academia, scientific organizations, non-governmental organizations and indigenous communities" (ibd.). IPBES held its forth plenary session (IPBES-4) from 22 to 28 February 2016, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
To implement the IPBES work programme and to make it relevant also for the regional, national and/or local level, on which many biodiversity-related problems need to be tackled, the global IPBES mechanism needs national and regional structures to build upon. Such structures can spread information about IPBES, enrich IPBES negotiations by feeding in diverse opinions, support the identification of experts relevant to the IPBES assessments, disseminate IPBES products, and help to meet urgent capacity-building and data needs.
In Europe, one example of a regional initiative is the Pan-European IPBES Stakeholder Consultation meeting taking place in June 2016 for the third time. This meeting brings together individuals (and organisations) that may contribute to the IPBES process (e.g. through their expertise, knowledge, data), may use its outputs or may be affected by its outcomes (= "IPBES stakeholders" in the IPBES terminology). Mobilizing a diverse and active IBPES stakeholder community across Europe and Central Asia has also been the aim of the Pan-European IPBES Stakeholder Consultation meetings in 2012 (PESC-1 in Leipzig, Germany) and 2013 (PESC-2 in Basel, Switzerland). Following-up these previous meetings, PESC-3 will provide a pan-European forum for discussing current developments in and around IPBES and aims at delivering input to the review of the first draft of the Regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia.
Objectives of the PESC-3 meeting
1. Informing about current developments in and around IPBES, in particular on:
- Regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia (ECA assessment)
- IPBES stakeholder engagement & capacity building
2. Delivering contributions to the IPBES process:
- Comments on the first order draft of the ECA assessment
- Identification of relevant capacity-building needs in the region, and possible means and resources to address them
- Strengthening of existing and initiation of new networks, platforms and other structures fostering the engagement in IPBES across ECA region
Thematic key areas
1. Information and capacity building
Knowledge on the current developments in and around IPBES and a thorough understanding of their backgrounds and frameworks are a prerequisite for engaging in IPBES processes. PESC-3 will provide the participants with comprehensive information on these aspects. A specially tailored 'newcomer session' prior to the general opening of PESC-3 will allow those who have just started to engage with IPBES to catch up on the relevant information. This will greatly facilitate the discussions during the meeting and the reviewing of IPBES draft documents
2. ECA assessment
PESC-3 will spotlight the regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia (ECA assessment), as its geographic scope covers those countries in which the PESC community resides. Participants are invited to review the individual chapters of the first order draft (FOD) in detail and to explore capacity-building needs in the region, as well as ways to address them. To complete the picture, the interrelations between the ECA assessment and the IPBES global assessment, as well as to the upcoming Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO5) will be discussed. For an effective uptake of its results by the ECA expert group and other IPBES bodies, PESC-3 is scheduled during the ECA assessment's open review phase (June-July 2016).
3. Stakeholder Engagement
PESC-3 aims at strengthening the IPBES stakeholder engagement within the ECA region. To this end, participants will be updated on the latest developments regarding the IPBES stakeholder engagement strategy and informed about existing networking initiatives. Furthermore, some specific barriers for participation and ways to overcome these will be addressed. An exchange of ideas on these issues and further possibilities to strengthen the network and engagement of IPBES stakeholders across the ECA region is expected to lend support to existing initiatives and to facilitate the commencement of new ones.
Experts on biodiversity and ecosystem services from Western and Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia. Experts may be affiliated to governmental and administrative bodies of IPBES member states or non-member states, IPBES subsidiary bodies, scientific institutions, non-governmental organisations, or the business-sector.
Organisation and Funding
PESC-3 is organized by the German Network and Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo) in cooperation with the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB), the Belgium Biodiversity Platform, the Swiss Biodiversity Forum and the Portuguese IPBES Platform. The conference is sponsered by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
NeFo is a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is mainly carried out by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
Newcomer sessionMain programme, day 1Main programme, day 2, session on regional and disciplinary imbalancesMain programme, day 2, session on networking and capacity building