Biodiversity and ecosystem services: intergovernmental platform
Official title: Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
- Subject category:
- Type of agreement / instrument:
- Voluntary Multilateral Instrument
- Cooperative Forum
- Canada was among the countries that established the Platform in April 2012. There are currently 130 member states.
- Lead & partner departments:
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
- For further information:
- Compendium edition:
- October 2018
- Reference #:
Plain language summary
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent body, established by over 100 governments in 2012. It provides assessments of the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to people. The Platform also identifies available tools and methods to protect and sustainably use nature and its services. By developing a common knowledge base for biodiversity and ecosystem services, the IPBES can contribute to improved effectiveness and efficiency of decision- making in Canada.
The objective of the Platform is to provide decision makers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, its ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society.
The IPBES has four functions:
- identifying scientific information needs and catalyzing knowledge generation;
- implementing and promoting assessments of various geographic and thematic scope;
- promoting accessibility and development of policy support tools; and,
- identifying and addressing capacity building needs and catalyzing financial support.
The Platform is expected to fill existing gaps in the science-policy interface relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services by synthesizing, reviewing, assessing and critically evaluating relevant information and knowledge generated worldwide by governments, academia, scientific organizations, non-governmental organizations and indigenous communities for the effective use of science in decision-making.
Information from the IPBES contributes to advancing the work of several biodiversity-related international conventions of importance to Canada. Consensus on a common knowledge base for biodiversity and ecosystem services can contribute to improved decision -making in areas such as conservation planning, biodiversity safeguards, carbon sequestration and valuation of ecosystem services and provide science underpinnings to advance development strategies on conservation and sustainable development, both in Canada and abroad.
Results / progress
Environment and Climate Change Canada provides a national focal point for the Platform, leads delegations to the Plenary sessions and facilitates nomination of experts to participate in the work programme. Canadian experts have participated as co-chairs, leading authors, and coordinators of IPBES assessments.
- Thematic assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production
- Methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Regional/subregional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Assessment report on land degradation and restoration
The Platform is finishing up the first work programme and undertaking an independent review of the effectiveness of the scientific and administrative functions of the Platform. Four regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services and a thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration were completed in 2018.
A global assessment of the status, trends and impact of biodiversity and ecosystem services on human well-being and the effectiveness of responses, including the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Aichi Targets, will be released in 2019.
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