Report of IPBES Capacity Building Meeting Available

8 July 2011: The report summarizing the discussions held during the International Expert Meeting on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and Capacity Building is now available.

The meeting, convened in Trondheim, Norway, from 25-27 May 2011, was co-hosted by the Governments of Brazil and Norway, and was planned and organized by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management.

The report of the meeting highlights that capacity building is an essential element of IPBES as a link between science and policy, and is crucial for undertaking assessments and implementing policy based on the results of these assessments. In particular, capacity building is viewed as relevant with respect to biodiversity and ecosystem services, for which the science-policy interface depends heavily on “bottom up” assessment, compared to other environmental issues, such as climate change, which can be assessed in a more “top down” manner.

The meeting identified challenges and needs in capacity building, including: lack of human capacity; building active cooperation between institutions; empowering communication; and facilitating access to information. Potential mechanisms for addressing challenges with respect to knowledge generation include exploring ways and means for helping to influence research agendas, and promoting reviews of the data and data storage/access capacities of each country.

According to the report, participants indicated that they would want IPBES to find appropriate links with other assessments and intergovernmental processes, both to learn lessons and to share opportunities. Participants also stressed that capacity building should be regarded as an integral component of the entire IPBES architecture, and that a future IPBES work programme on capacity building should include: identification and prioritization of needs; increased communication and awareness; action facilitating mechanisms; and the establishment of strategic partnerships.

Finally, the report notes that participants recognised that priorities and opportunities can only be identified at this stage, as the real decisions have yet to be taken. [IPBES Workshop Website]