This week, in Panama, at the core of the current plenary session to establish a global platform on biodiversity and its benefits (IPBES), GBIF, IUCN and UNEP-WCMC showcased some examples of existing initiatives which the platform could build upon. More than 50 delegates attended the side event and gained an understanding of the data, information and knowledge already available to policy-makers.
Claire Brown of the UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) presented opportunities and benefits for IPBES in using the existing network and drawing on the knowledge provided to support conservation under an official mandate. Simon Stuart and Jane Smart of IUCN presented the union's knowledge products focusing on the credibility of the underlying processes. They raised the perspectives on linking these products and providing new knowledge on the governance of the use of renewable resources. Donald Hobern of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) explained how the data on species distribution underpin a majority of information available for policy decisions such as priorities for research on biodiversity.
The delegates were interested in how this knowledge could respond to the challenges that governments, whether national or local, are facing to halt the loss of biodiversity. In this regard, several case studies illustrate how species data provided by GBIF, assessments of IUCN and data on protected areas of UNEP-WCMC interact to help design and manage protected areas networks better, especially in the marine realm.
The participants also considered how this knowledge could keep the memory of changes, for example, at the landscape levels. Other topics of the discussion included options for training local decision makers on the use of this knowledge, advocating for NGOs as major users that should be empowered, and exploring the ways this kowledge could be used for modelling and scenarios building to improve adaptation to changes in ecosystem services.
This knowledge can help meeting a part of immense needs for information to support decision-making and the ongoing discussions on the work programme of IPBES could do best in drawing on these examples.
For more information, please contact ipbes[at]iucn.org