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IPBES - Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

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October 2013

Read the final policy brief: Spiraling IPBES

December 2011

One of the more recent stimuli to start developing the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was the admission of our failure at having halted the loss of biodiversity and to meet the 2010 biodiversity target. Current science-policy interfaces for biodiversity and ecosystem services such as the scientific and technical advisory body of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD- SBSTTA) clearly needed to be strengthened or supplemented. Since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) in 2005, the quest for an independent but policy relevant new body has been under discussion.

Busan Outcome

Following several years of international consultation and negotiations within the IMoSEB-process (International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity), this process merged with the MA-follow-up in 2008 to create a new Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

After additional negotiations at three intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meeting on IPBES, the international community has agreed at its last meeting in Busan, June 2010, that there is a need for a new body. This agreement was confirmed by the UN General Assembly in December 2010 and by UNEP Governing council, and resulted in what is known now as the Busan Outcome. The Busan Outcome sets the general framework for this new body, but leaves many questions concerning the concrete structure and work programme of the new body opening the road for further negotiations.


From 3 to 7 October 2011, government representatives, scientists, policy makers and NGOs convened at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, in a “first session of a plenary meeting to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for IPBES”. Some agreements were reached on functions and operating principles of the platform, and on criteria for selecting the platform’s secretariat. The discussion on the legal status and establishment of the platform, on which bodies the platform should have, on the work programme and on membership of the plenary will continue during the second session of the plenary planned in April 16-20 2012, in Panama.

During the inter-session period, experts and governments are exchanging views on the rules of procedure and on the work programme of IPBES, through various expert workshops.

More information can be found on the IPBES website

Contact: Estelle Balian


In a series of interviews, experts from international organizations, NGOs, academia and scientific bodies discuss the role of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and its benefits. The IPBES Secretariat recently released links to these interviews on its website.