This week, more than 100 governments are gathered in Bonn for the first plenary meeting of the new global platform linking science and policy on biodiversity and its benefits (IPBES). Right at the heart of the buzzing crowd, is also a diverse group of other stakeholders and partners, including IUCN and its Members. What are they calling for and will the governments answer?
IPBES is of interest to a wide range of stakeholders holding a large amount of knowledge and expertise in the fields of biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and development, at all levels. It is expected that these stakeholders, ranging from the scientific and conservation communities to non-governmental organisations, indigenous peoples and businesses, will be both contributors and end users of the platform.
The interest, engagement and participation of all relevant stakeholders along the entire process are key for the relevance, impact, credibility and legitimacy of IPBES. However, their key roles are not yet fully reflected in the proposed rules, procedures and structures of the platform.
In a joint statement to the plenary, stakeholders called for an engagement strategy to be developed together with them before the next IPBES plenary meeting. This strategy should ensure the full and effective participation of all stakeholders in the work, the governance and the operations of the platform taking into account the diversity of expertise that they could contribute and the need for financial support to enable this. The establishment of partnerships with existing initiatives to support and speed up implementation of the IPBES work programme were also recommended.
"These important ideas have been picked up and are now being considered by the plenary. Of course we will need to wait the final decision, but it is a good signal that the governments are being receptive to the need to involve stakeholders in the work of IPBES,” says Cyrie Sendashonga, IUCN Global Director of Policy and Programme Group. “Stakeholders are the DNA of the platform and we are ready to contribute our knowledge and expertise to IPBES."
The joint Stakeholders’ Statement was developed by over 100 participants of the IPBES Stakeholders’ Day that was held immediately before the First Plenary Meeting of IPBES. Stakeholders continue meeting on a daily basis this week to jointly agree on the way forward in helping governments to strengthen the links between science and policies on biodiversity and its benefits for the future of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.
For future updates and developments, follow the Stakeholder Forum on IPBES.