IPBES-2 Working Documents Include Fast Track Thematic Assessments

ipbesNovember 2013: The interim Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has released pre-sessional working documents in advance of the second meeting of the Plenary (IPBES-2). The documents are inclusive of, inter alia, a series of fast track scoping exercises, a draft work programme, communication strategy and stakeholder engagement strategy, draft procedures for Platform deliverables and guidance on strategic partnerships.

The scoping document for the fast track thematic assessment on pollination addresses changes in pollination as a regulating ecosystem service of importance for food production, biodiversity and human well-being. The scoping document on land degradation and restoration covers methodologies for assessing and categorizing land degradation in the context of biodiversity values, ecosystem services and human well-being. For invasive species, the assessment aims to determine the diversity, threat and drivers of invasive species impacting biodiversity and ecosystems services. Other assessments focus on: policy support tools and methodologies for scenarios analysis and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services; support tools for the valuation and accounting of biodiversity and ecosystem services; and thematic assessments on agriculture, food security and biodiversity, and on migratory and transboundary species.

The draft procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of assessment reports and other deliverables of the Platform reflect all the comments received from governments and other stakeholders, as recommended by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP).

The draft work programme of the Platform for the period 2014–2018 has been developed by the Bureau and the MEP with the support of the interim Secretariat. It contains a sequenced and prioritized set of objectives, deliverables, actions and milestones for advancing the four functions of the Platform at relevant scales, taking into account, among others, the reports of regional consultations and review comments received. The report on receiving and prioritizing requests highlights the methodology used by the MEP and the Bureau for the prioritization of requests, inputs and suggestions.

Also available is the 'Recommended Conceptual Framework,' which reflects, inter alia: comments received during the open review on the draft; additional inputs from the Bureau and MEP at their first meeting, in June 2013; and outcomes of the expert and stakeholder workshop convened by the MEP in August 2013, South Africa.

The draft communication strategy outlines key objectives, including the role of IPBES in building upon and adding value to ongoing efforts for biodiversity and ecosystem services to be recognized as key to human well-being and sustainable development, as well as the recognition of IPBES as adding value to the work already undertaken in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services to support policymaking.

Also presented are the outcomes of a workshop on the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge systems to IPBES, a document which elaborates procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems in way that would address all four of the Platform's functions.

Finally, the guidance on the development of strategic partnerships highlights ways in which the implementation of the Platform's work programme can be supported. Similarly, the stakeholder engagement strategy is designed to promote and facilitate the active, effective and long term engagement of stakeholders in implementing the work programme, with special attention to stakeholders under-represented in international forums. [IPBES-2 Documents]