Science News

Plans underway for the 'IPCC for nature'

Tue, 11th Oct 2011

Helen Scales

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The latest news on an important new initiative in global conservation was  announced at the World conference on Marine Biodiversity with plans now well underway for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which will do for nature what the IPCC does for climate change, and is being seen as a global response to tackle the demise of the natural world.

Because, while there are lots of organisations that work on issues biodiversity loss and the vital services that ecosystems provide us things like pollinating crops, mitigating against floods, and providing food but until now there hasnt been a joined up, global strategy to bring together all the expert information we have and use it to help make decisions about how best to protect the natural world including the oceans, of course.Red Mangrove

There was a resolution from the United Nation General Assembly last December, and this month a plenary meeting in Nairobi in Kenya will see various groups get together to talk about how the IPBES will be set up and what its programme of work will be.

Things we should be seeing coming out of the panel include regular expert assessments of the state of biodiversity around the world similar to the 5-yearly assessment of climate change produced by the IPCC. The panel will also help identify and prioritise key areas where more science is needed, and provide support and capacity to help build bridges between scientists and decision makers.

Its an exciting development and something no-doubt well be hearing about much more about as the IPBES gets up and running.

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