report on progress in implementing the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Note by the Executive Secretary
In decision XII/25 the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity welcomed the adoption of the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for 2014-2018. In the same decision the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Chair and Bureau of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, to continue to collaborate with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, where relevant, strengthening synergies and avoiding duplication of work, to review the progress on elements of the work programme of the Platform that are relevant to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and to report to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice on progress (paragraph 5(a)). The Conference of the Parties also requested the Executive Secretary to make available, through the clearing-house mechanism, information on progress in the implementation of the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the period 2014-2018, including the global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services scheduled to be launched in 2018, and to bring this information to the attention of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, as appropriate (paragraph 5(d)).
The Executive Secretary is making available herewith a progress report on the implementation of the 2014-2018 work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The present note provides background information to document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/19/9. This note has been prepared by the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and is being made available in the form and language in which it was provided to the Secretariat.
REPORT ON PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING THE WORK PROGRAMME OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL SCIENCE-POLICY PLATFORM ON BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
At its second session in December 2013, the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) adopted in decision IPBES-2/5 a work programme for the period 2014-2018.1 The diagram in Annex I, taken from that decision, provides a summary of the agreed work programme. For context, Annex II contains the conceptual framework for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.2
IPBES is now in the second year of the implementation of its work programme and about 1,000 experts, selected by its Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP), are currently engaged in its implementation. Work has been initiated across all 18 of its deliverables. This report provides information on the work undertaken for the period June 2014-October 2015 (since SBSTTA 18), and builds upon document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/18/INF/19. It has been structured around the different objectives and deliverables of the Platform’s work programme.
Objective 1 - Strengthen the capacity and knowledge foundations of the science-policy interface to implement key functions of the Platform
There are four identified deliverables under this objective, which is to strengthen the capacity and knowledge foundations of the science-policy interface to implement key functions of the Platform. Each of these deliverables is summarised below, along with a summary of the progress made to date in their implementation.
Deliverables 1(a) and 1(b) - Building capacity: A task force on capacity-building is supporting the delivery of the Platform’s functions in identifying and prioritizing capacity-building needs related to the IPBES work programme, and helping to identify resources for meeting those needs. In order to advance these deliverables the Platform will also provide a forum with conventional and potential sources of funding, and implement a “matchmaking facility”. The task force is in place for the life of the current work programme, with a technical support unit provided by the Government of Norway. It is envisaged that the deliverables will contribute to the attainment of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 19, on improving the knowledge base, and 20, on the mobilization of financial resources to implement the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2020. The progress made on these two deliverables is:
At the third session of the IPBES Plenary held from 12-17 January 2015, Member Governments approved a list of priority capacity-building needs. These priority needs, identified with the support of the task force on capacity-building, are set out in annex 1 to decision IPBES-3/1.
The task force on capacity-building is developing a prototype matchmaking facility to support implementation of the Platform’s work programme. UNDP is supporting the development of the online component of the matchmaking facility through BES-Net. The aim of this facility is to bring together those who have capacity-building needs with those able to help meet those needs, whether technical or financial. The IPBES Chair launched on 20 July 2015 a call for proposals requesting technical or financial support for planning or implementing capacity-building projects, in the context of the IPBES prototype matchmaking facility. The deadline for receiving projects was 5 September 2015 and 88 proposals were received. The first IPBES capacity-building Forum will take place in Dehradun, India, 19-22 October 2015.
A call for applications for the IPBES fellowship pilot programme for the four regional assessments and the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration generated 446 nominations, from which 33 Fellows were selected. The IPBES fellowship pilot programme aims to build capacity among early career experts in the science-policy interface. The fellows participate throughout the assessment process as part of the chapter teams. In addition to participating in the author meetings, the fellows will also participate in a one-week training workshop from 7-11 December 2015 in Bonn, Germany.
Deliverable 1(c) - Working with indigenous and local knowledge systems: IPBES aims to promote effective engagement with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) experts and holders in its work. A task force, supported by a Technical Support Unit based at UNESCO, is facilitating the development of this work. This task force has met on two occasions (20-24 April 2015 in Bonn, Germany; 7-11 September 2015 in Paris, France) since IPBES-3. It is anticipated that this deliverable will contribute to the attainment of Aichi Biodiversity Target 18. The progress made on this deliverable is:
An initial progress report ‘Update on ILK Procedures and Approaches’ (IPBES/3/INF/2) was provided to the third session of the Plenary together with a proposal for further piloting of ILK in IPBES assessments. The Plenary noted the progress made and decided to continue to pilot these preliminary ILK approaches in the thematic assessments and in the regional assessments. It also noted the progress made in the establishment of a roster of experts and a participatory mechanism for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems (Decision IPBES-3/3).
The task force published on line and in hard copy the proceedings of the ILK Dialogue Workshop it convened in Panama (1-4 December 2014) - Indigenous and Local Knowledge about Pollination and Pollinators associated with Food Production (Lyver et al., 2015).3 The task force provided input to the thematic assessments on ‘Pollination and pollinators associated with food production’, via these proceedings, and is currently contributing to regional assessments for Africa and Europe and Central Asia.
Deliverable 1(d) - Knowledge and data: A task force, supported by a Technical Support Unit based at the National Institute of Ecology (NIE), Secheon, Republic of Korea, was established in order to help increase access to the data, information and knowledge necessary for achieving the Platform’s aims and delivering its work programme. This includes helping to identify and prioritize the key scientific information needed for policymakers at appropriate scales, and to catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge in dialogue with scientific organizations, policymakers and funding organizations. It is anticipated that this deliverable will contribute to the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 19, on improving the knowledge base. The second meeting of the knowledge and data task force was held in Bonn, Germany on 20-23 April 2015. The progress made on this deliverable is:
The key activities in the data and information management plan of 2015, approved by IPBES-3, are proceeding. This includes the further development of data and information management plans for IPBES assessments, included in the guide for assessments for use by all regions; the further development of the knowledge and data strategy. Highlights of progress in implementation include a proposal on a core set of indicators across the four regions; an on-line survey on access to literature and development of initiatives to increase this access; establishment of a literature repository system to store literature and share among assessment experts; and a literature management system to generate lists of references to be publicly shared. A dialogue workshop will be held in 2016 in collaboration with partner organizations to catalyze the generation of new knowledge, in order to fill gaps identified through IPBES assessments.
Objective 2 - Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services at and across subregional, regional and global levels
There are three deliverables under this objective, which is to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services at and across subregional, regional and global levels. Each of these deliverables is summarised below, followed by information on progress to date in their implementation.
Deliverable 2(a) - Guide on production and integration of assessments from and across all scales: IPBES is carrying out a range of thematic, regional and global assessments, and in doing so accumulating expertise. A guide is being developed to capture this knowledge and help ensure consistency across IPBES assessments. It addresses practical, procedural, conceptual and thematic aspects of assessments, and takes into account different visions, approaches and knowledge systems. It is being developed by nine experts, selected following a call for nominations, working with 12 MEP and Bureau members and a further 48 experts in charge of providing an independent review of successive drafts. Technical support is provided by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. A first draft was noted by IPBES-3. The guide is considered as a living document and updated as additional information becomes available.
Deliverable 2(b) - Regional/subregional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services: In decision IPBES-3/1, IPBES approved the undertaking of four regional and sub-regional assessments for Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia. It is anticipated that this deliverable will provide critical input to the global assessment and contribute to implementation and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in general. The regional assessments reports and their Summary for Policy Makers (SPMs) are to be submitted for the consideration of the 6th IPBES Plenary (early 2018), and will be prepared in accordance with the procedures for the preparation of deliverables (Annex to decision IPBES-3/3), the generic scoping report for regional and sub-regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES/3/18), which provides a generic chapter outline, a timetable and a cost estimate for the four regional assessments, and the scoping reports for each one of the four regional assessments (IPBES/3/18), which provide additional information pertaining to each region, to complement the generic scoping report. The progress made on this deliverable is:
At the 5th MEP meeting (April 2015), the MEP selected experts from the pool of experts (IPBES/MEP-5/11) nominated by member countries and organizations.
Prior to IPBES-3, the Chair requested governments and stakeholders to provide offers for in-kind contributions to support the implementation of the work programme with particular reference to the need for technical support for implementing the regional and subregional assessments. In response to this, institutional arrangements have been made with the Alexander von Humboldt Institute (Colombia), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) (Japan), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (South Africa) and the University of Bern (Switzerland).
The first author meetings were held in Bogota, Colombia (20 to 27 July), Pretoria, South Africa (3-7 August), Tokyo, Japan (17 – 21 August) and Engelberg, Switzerland (31 Aug- 4 Sept). Approximately 450 participants attended these meetings, including Co-Chairs, coordinating lead authors, lead authors, young fellows, Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) and Bureau members, representatives of task forces/expert groups and the IPBES Secretariat. All four meetings produced Zero Order Drafts (ZOD), consisting of a detailed scope for each chapter, and agreed on the responsibilities of each author, as well as detailed timelines of activities towards the production of the regional assessment report. The next step is the production of the first order drafts and their external review (June 2016).
Deliverable 2(c) - Global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services: At its eleventh meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity invited IPBES to prepare by 2018 a global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services building, inter alia, on its own and other relevant regional, subregional and thematic assessments, as well as on national reports. The progress made on this deliverable is:
IPBES-3 (January 2015) approved a scoping process for a global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services based on an initial scoping report developed by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) and the Bureau. The overall scope of the assessment will, in line with the invitation, assess the status and trends with regard to such services, the impact of biodiversity and ecosystem services on human well-being and the effectiveness of responses, including the Strategic Plan and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It is anticipated that this deliverable will contribute to the process for the assessment of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The meeting to scope this future global assessment took place in Bonn, Germany from 5-7 October 2015. This meeting involved approximately 60 experts with a range of scientific, technical and socio-economic expertise. This group included MEP and Bureau members, co-chairs of the on-going regional assessments and of the thematic assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration. A Resource Person from the CBD Secretariat was also present. The meeting produced a scoping document for the global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services, which includes the overall scope and utility of the global assessment, and a detailed chapter outline. This document is currently open for review until 6 November 2015 (deadline extended by 3 days) by governments and other stakeholders. It was circulated to Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity by the Secretariat of the CBD, and is reproduced in Annex III.
It is anticipated, pending the approval of the Global scoping document at IPBES-4 (February 2016), that there will be a global call for experts to initiate the full global assessment immediately after IPBES-4. The work would take place in 2016-2018. It is anticipated that the global assessment would be submitted for consideration to a future session of the Plenary of IPBES in early 2019.
Objective 3 - Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services with regard to thematic and methodological issues
There are six deliverables/subdeliverables under this objective focused on strengthening the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services with regard to thematic and methodological issues. Each of these is summarised below along with information on progress in their implementation.
Deliverable 3(a) - Fast-track thematic assessment of pollinators, pollination and food production: The scope of this assessment covers changes in animal pollination as a regulating ecosystem service that underpins food production and its contribution to gene flows and restoration of ecosystems. It addresses the role of native and exotic pollinators, the status of and trends in pollinators and pollination networks and services, drivers of change, impacts on human well-being, food production of pollination declines and deficits and the effectiveness of responses to pollination declines and deficits. The assessment is required for enhancing policy responses to declines and deficits in pollination. The assessment represents an early IPBES deliverable that aims to identify policy-relevant findings for decision-making in government, the private sector and civil society, as well as helping to demonstrate how an essential ecosystem service contributes to the post-2015 development agenda. It is anticipated that the deliverable will contribute to the attainment of Aichi Biodiversity Target 14 on safeguarding and restoring ecosystems that provide essential services. The progress made on this deliverable is:
The first author meeting was held in Siegburg, Germany from 30 June – 04 July, 2014
A Global Dialogue Workshop on Indigenous and Local Knowledge on Pollination and Pollinators associated with Food Production was held in Panama City, Panama, 01-05 December, 2014
The first review of the assessment by experts took place from 19 January - 2 March, 2015 (6 weeks)
The second author meeting was held in Belém, Brazil from 09 – 13 March, 2015
The second order draft of the full technical report and the first order draft of the Summary for Policymakers for Deliverable 3a: Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production were prepared.
The second review of the assessment by Governments and Experts was held from 22 May – 17 July, 2015 (8 weeks)
The third author meeting was held in Rome, Italy, from 27 – 31 July, 2015.
The full report of this assessment and its summary for policy makers will be considered by IPBES-4 (February 2016).
Deliverable 3(b)(i) - Thematic assessment- Land degradation and restoration: This assessment will examine the global status of and trends in land degradation, by region and land cover type; the effect of degradation on biodiversity values, ecosystem services and human well-being; and the state of knowledge, by region and land cover type, of ecosystem restoration extent and options. The assessment will enhance the knowledge base for policies for addressing land degradation, desertification and the restoration of degraded land. It is anticipated that the deliverable would contribute to the implementation of the 10 year strategic plan and framework (2008–2018) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 14 and 15 on safeguarding and restoring ecosystems that provide essential services. The progress made on this deliverable is:
IPBES-3 (Decision IPBES-3/18) approved the undertaking of a thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration, based on a scoping report. Following a call for experts, about 100 experts were selected by the MEP in April 2015 to participate in the preparation of the report. In order to respond to a request from the Plenary to develop a coordinated approach among the regional assessments and the thematic assessments, half of these experts are working as Lead Authors in the four regional assessments, while the other half are contributing to the land degradation and restoration assessment. The work is supported by a Technical Support Unit, composed of one consultant, based within the IPBES secretariat in Bonn, Germany.
The first author meeting took place in Bonn, Germany from 20-24th September 2015 and produced a zero order draft, including detailed outlines for each of the six chapters of the report.
The next step is the production of the first order draft and its external review (June 2016).
Deliverable 3(b)(ii) - Thematic assessment - Invasive alien species and their control: This assessment will assess the threat that invasive alien species pose to biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods and the global status of and trends in impacts of invasive alien species by region and subregion, taking into account various knowledge and value systems. It is anticipated that the assessment will contribute to the enhancement of national and international policies addressing invasive alien species, in particular on the attainment of Aichi Biodiversity Target 9.
Deliverable 3(b)(iii) - Thematic assessment - Sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and strengthening capacities and tools: This assessment will address the ecological, economic, social and cultural importance, conservation status, drivers of change, of mainly harvested and traded biodiversity related products and wild species. It will also assess the potential of the sustainable use of biodiversity for the enhancement of livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities, including the role of traditional governance and institutions. It will identify guidelines, methods and tools and promote best practices, including both modern technologies and indigenous and local knowledge, for sustainable management and harvesting. The assessment will contribute to identification of related knowledge gaps and better technologies, including in respect of indigenous and local knowledge. It will also contribute to the development of policy support tools and methodologies, to enhancing sustainable management schemes (including the establishment and management of harvest quotas), to aiding compliance and enforcement measures, and to addressing capacity-building needs in countries of origin. It is anticipated that the assessment will contribute to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular the attainment of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 3, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 18. The progress made on these deliverables is:
In decision IPBES-3/1 IPBES approved the initiation of scoping, primarily using virtual approaches, for a thematic assessment of invasive alien species and for a thematic assessment of sustainable use of biodiversity, for consideration by the Plenary at its fourth session.
An open access web-based scoping consultation (e-conference) was held from 7-25 September 2015 to scope both thematic assessments (invasive alien species and their control (IAS) and sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity (SUB)). The e-conference discussion topics were based on the initial IAS (IPBES/2/16/Add.3) and SUB (IPBES/2/16/Add.6) scoping documents. The e-conferences were conducted over 3 weeks and according to 4 distinct sessions, each aiming to address specific aspects of the scoping reports. The invitation to participate in the consultation was sent to a wide range of people, including IPBES members, stakeholders and experts. The CBD and CITES Secretariats were also asked to disseminate the announcement. A total of 1056 participants registered to participate in both e-conferences. Drafts of the scoping documents have been prepared by the MEP co-chairs based on the e-conference inputs.
IPBES-4 will be invited to consider the scoping reports for these two assessments as a basis for approving full assessments. Documents will be posted here (http://www.ipbes.net/index.php/plenary/ipbes-4) when available. These two assessments, if approved, would be performed during 2016-2018, for consideration by a future session of the IPBES Plenary in early 2019.
Deliverable 3(c) - Methodological assessment-Scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services: The fast track assessment of methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services is important for guiding the use of such methodologies in all of the Platform’s work to ensure the policy relevance of its deliverables. Scenarios and models, including those based on participatory methods, have been identified as policy support tools and methodologies that can help decision makers to identify potential impacts of different policy options. Based on the findings of the methodological assessment, this deliverable will result in an evolving guide, followed by efforts to promote methods for the use of different types of knowledge and catalyse the development of databases, geospatial data, tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling. It is anticipated that the deliverable would contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 as a whole. The progress made on this deliverable is:
Following an open call for nominations, about 80 experts were selected for this assessment. The Technical Support Unit is hosted by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL, The Netherlands).
The first author meeting was held in Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands from 27-31 October 2014
The first review of the assessment by experts was held from 9 January - 27 February 2015 (7 weeks)
The second author meeting was held in Ushuaia, Argentina from 9-13 March 2015
The second order draft of the full technical report and the first order draft of the Summary for Policymakers were prepared.
The second review phase was held from 15 May – 9 July 2015.
The third author meeting was held from 27-31 July 2015 (Beijing, China )
Final drafts of the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) and the technical report will be considered by IPBES-4. They will be sent to governments ahead of the fourth session of the Plenary.
Deliverable 3(d) - Diverse conceptualization of values of biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people including ecosystem services: The assessment of tools and methodologies regarding multiple values of biodiversity to human societies is important for guiding the use of such methodologies in all IPBES work. Different valuation methodologies will be evaluated according to different visions, approaches and knowledge systems, and their policy relevance based on the diverse conceptualization of values of biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people including provisioning, regulating and cultural services. This assessment will result in a guide, and subsequently promote and catalyse the further development and use of tools and methodologies on these issues. The aim is that such policy support tools will help guide decision-making by taking into account the multiple values of nature and its benefits. It is anticipated that the deliverable will contribute to Strategic Goal A, and in particular Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 on the integration of biodiversity values, of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The progress made on this deliverable is:
Following an open call for nominations, 39 experts were selected to work with a number of Bureau and MEP members to scope the assessment and prepare a preliminary guide. Both documents were considered by IPBES-3.
IPBES-3 requested the expert group (IPBES-3/1) to revise the preliminary guide, and the scoping report based on comments received following an open review by Governments and stakeholders, for consideration by the Plenary at its fourth session. Technical support for this work has been provided by the Ecosystem Services and Economics (ESE) Unit of UNEP’s Division of Environmental Policy Implementation.
The preliminary guide, as well as the scoping report for the methodological assessment on diverse conceptualization of values, were submitted for review by governments and stakeholders from 26 February to 31 March 2015.
The third expert group meeting was held from June 8-11 2015 in Budapest, Hungary with the support of Corvinus University to review the comments received.
The preliminary guide has been revised based on the comments from the open review. The Scoping document was revised based on the comments from the IPBES-3 and the open review. It is currently under external government and stakeholder review until the 30th of October.
The revised scoping report for the methodological assessment on diverse conceptualization of values will be presented to IPBES-4 for approval, and the revised preliminary guide on the diverse conceptualization of values for the information of the meeting.