Workshop Discusses Policy Support Challenges Facing the IPBES

23 January 2012: An international workshop on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has addressed neutrality in science, called for transparency and a balanced IPBES, and discussed the inclusion of indigenous and other types of knowledge. The workshop sought to provide input to the intersessional process on the establishment of IPBES.

Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) organized the workshop, titled "Policy support through relevant tools and methodologies in the IPBES." It took place from December 7-9, 2011, in Bonn, Germany, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research Germany (NeFo).

Over 80 participants from policy, science and society from 41 countries met in plenary, break-out groups and open round tables, to discuss various challenges facing the IPBES. They addressed the issue of neutrality of science and the argument that science intends to support the conservation of biodiversity. They called for transparency and a balanced IPBES. Participants also discussed the inclusion of different types of social and natural sciences, and of different types of knowledge.

In the round table discussion on multi-scale challenges for the work area of policy support, participants noted that parts of traditional knowledge are not available and need to be made accessible. They also underscored that IPBES offers the unique opportunity to use scientific, indigenous and traditional knowledge together, but a challenge remains in mixing the various types of knowledge. [NeFo News]