[Ipbes-stakeholder] IPBES: 4 regional assessments approved

Belgian IPBES Stakeholder Group registration ipbes-stakeholder at bebif.be
Sat Mar 24 16:59:40 CET 2018

*To BE IPBES Stakeholder*

*(Apologies for cross-posting)*

Dear Colleagues,

I am very happy to inform you that the Intergovernmental Platform on
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has now approved - at its 6th
Plenary session - the *four regional assessments of biodiversity and
ecosystem services* covering the *Americas*; *Asia and the Pacific*;
*Africa*; as well as *Europe and Central Asia. *Please find below and
attached the official press release which we have widely sent out to
Belgian media (Dutch & French speaking). We noticed the news is widely
picked up already!

The Belgian Delegation (Els Van de Velde, LNE; Janine Van Vessem & Hans
Keune, INBO; and myself) are actually very satisfied with the improvements
made at plenary, and we believe the documents are now in a good shape to
support better decision-making in nature conservation and sustainable
development in all 4 regions. *Herewith, I would also like to express great
thanks to my colleagues for their perseverance and help at the spot; and
to all experts involved for their invaluable comments in the course of the

You can download the Summary for Policy Makers of all 4 regional
assessments here <https://we.tl/P3lqYHNWmb>

(advance unedited English versions, available for download until 31 March).
Let me know if you'd also like to receive the Technical Chapters. I'd be
happy to send them to you directly,

Best wishes from Medellin,

Hilde E.

IPBES National Focal Point - biodiversity <http://www.biodiversity.be/ipbes>
© 2014, Belgian Biodiversity Platform © 2014, Belgian Biodiversity Platform

*Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services (IPBES)*
For interviews: media at ipbes.net or +1-416-878-8712 <+1%20416-878-8712> or


*Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue Dangerous Decline,
Scientists Warn*

Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to
decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s
capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend
endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of
people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports released
today, written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries.

The result of three years of work, the four regional assessments of
biodiversity and ecosystem services cover the Americas, Asia and the
Pacific, Africa, as well as Europe and Central Asia – the entire planet
except the poles and the open oceans. The assessment reports were approved
by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in Medellín, Colombia, at the 6th session of
its Plenary. IPBES has 129 State Members.

*“Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people sound, to many people,
academic and far removed from our daily lives,”* said the Chair of IPBES,
Sir Robert Watson,
*“Nothing could be further from the truth – they are the bedrock of our
food, clean water and energy. They are at the heart not only of our
survival, but of our cultures, identities and enjoyment of life. The best
available evidence, gathered by the world’s leading experts, points us now
to a single conclusion: we must act to halt and reverse the unsustainable
use of nature – or risk not only the future we want, but even the lives we
currently lead. Fortunately, the evidence also shows that we know how to
protect and partially restore our vital natural assets.”*

The extensively peer-reviewed IPBES assessment reports focus on providing
answers to key questions for each of the four regions, including: why is
biodiversity important, where are we making progress, what are the main
threats and opportunities for biodiversity and how can we adjust our
policies and institutions for a more sustainable future?

In every region, with the exception of a number of positive examples where
lessons can be learned, biodiversity and nature’s capacity to contribute to
people are being degraded, reduced and lost due to a number of common
pressures – habitat stress; overexploitation and unsustainable use of
natural resources; air, land and water pollution; increasing numbers and
impact of invasive alien species and climate change, among others.

*Europe and Central Asia*

A major trend is the increasing intensity of conventional agriculture and
forestry, which leads to biodiversity decline. There are also examples of
sustainable agricultural and forestry practices that are beneficial to
biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people in the region. Nature’s
material contributions to people, such as food and energy, have been
promoted at the expense of both regulating contributions, such as
pollination and soil formation, and non- material contributions, such as
cultural experiences or opportunities to develop a sense of place.

*“The people of the region consume more renewable natural resources than
the region produces,” *said Prof. Markus Fischer (Switzerland), co-chair of
the Europe and Central Asia assessment with Prof. Mark Rounsevell
(UK), *“Although
this is somewhat off-set by higher biocapacities in Eastern Europe and
northern parts of Western and Central Europe.”*

In the European Union, among assessments of the conservation status of
species and habitat types of conservation interest, only 7% of marine
species and 9% of marine habitat types show a ‘favourable conservation
status’. Moreover 27% of species assessments and 66% of habitat types
assessments show an ‘unfavourable conservation status’, with the others
categorised as 'unknown'.

The authors find that further economic growth can facilitate sustainable
development only if it is decoupled from the degradation of biodiversity
and nature’s capacity to contribute to people. Such decoupling, however,
has not yet happened, and would require far-reaching change in policies and
tax reforms at the global and national levels.

Abandonment of traditional land-use systems, and loss of associated
indigenous and local knowledge and practices, has been widespread in Europe
and Central Asia, the report finds. Production-based subsidies driving
growth in agricultural, forestry and natural resource extraction sectors
tend to exacerbate conflicting land-use issues, often impinging on
available territory for traditional users. Maintenance of traditional land
use and lifestyles in Europe and Central Asia is strongly related to
institutional adequacy and economic viability. [image: page4image25944]
*Governance options*

A range of governance options, policies and management practices is
available in Europe and Central Asia to safeguard biodiversity and ensure
nature’s contributions to people. Some progress has already been made in
mainstreaming biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people into public
and private decision-making.

The assessment report highlights integrated approaches. These include
measuring national welfare beyond GDP. Governance could become more
effective by using well-designed mixes of policy instruments to motivate
changes in behaviour to support sustainable development. The authors also
emphasize the relevance of reconciling biodiversity conservation and human
rights standards through rights-based instruments, as well as capacity
building for indigenous peoples and local communities. Sufficient funding
is also needed to support research, monitoring, education and training.

Speaking about the policy options emerging from the four regional
assessments, Watson said: *“Although there are no ‘silver bullets’ or
‘one-size-fits all’ answers, the best options in all four regional
assessments are found in better governance, integrating biodiversity
concerns into sectoral policies and practices (e.g. agriculture and
energy), the application of scientific knowledge and technology, increased
awareness and behavioural changes.”*

*“It is also clear that indigenous and local knowledge can be an invaluable
asset, and biodiversity issues need to receive much higher priority in
policy making and development planning at every level. Cross-border
collaboration is also essential, given that biodiversity challenges
recognize no national boundaries.”*

About IPBES:

Often described as the “IPCC for biodiversity” IPBES is an independent
intergovernmental body comprising 129 member Governments. Established by
Governments in 2012, it provides policymakers with objective scientific
assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity,
ecosystems and the contributions they make to people, as well as the tools
and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets. For
more information about IPBES and its assessments visit www.ipbes.net


Using the link below, you will be able to access a range of media resource
materials – including the advance unedited English version of the summaries
for policymakers (please note these do not yet reflect any technical
adjustments and comments from the floor of the Plenary session),
biographical details about the assessment co-chairs and a number of visual
resources (not formal products of IPBES) that can be used to assist in
illustrating stories/articles/broadcasts about the report launches:
Finalized IPBES Regional Assessment Media Resources <https://goo.gl/oJ4DRq>
Shared with Dropbox

*IPBES Media Team media at ipbes.net <media at ipbes.net>*

*Robert Spaull, +57-310-626-6641 (m);  *

*media at ipbes.net <media at ipbes.net>*

*Terry Collins, +1-416-878-8712 <+1%20416-878-8712>; tc at tca.tc <tc at tca.tc>*

*www.ipbes.net * <http://www.ipbes.net/>

*IPBES Belgium NFP*
*:* Dr Hilde Eggermont: h.eggermont at biodiversity.be (
 Medellin): +32(0)473613675 <0473%2061%2036%2075>.

*Hilde Eggermont*, PhD
Coordinator of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform
Vice-Chair of the BiodivERsA ERA-net <http://www.biodiversa.org/>/ Regional
Councillor West Europe IUCN <http://www.iucn.org/>
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (OD Nature
Mobile: (+32) 473-613675 <0473%2061%2036%2075>; Skype: hildeeggermont

*🌿**Go Vegetarian and cut your carbon footprint in half **🌿*
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