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IPBES discusses next steps to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity

The third plenary session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) — which aims to track the ecological health of the planet and help avert catastrophic changes in biodiversity — will take place from 12 to 17 January 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

In the short history of IPBES, this meeting represents a significant event, as the member states of the Platform will review progress made during the first year of implementation of the Platform’s first work programme (2014-2018).

Among other issues, this plenary session will consider initiating a set of regional and sub-regional assessments in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia and the Open Ocean region. These assessments could be a vital contribution to the global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as they will ensure a bottom-up approach and full use of national, regional and sub-regional knowledge.

The meeting will also consider initiating a report on different valuation approaches in assessing biodiversity taking into account not only market values but also social, ecological and spiritual values. This could pave the way for a more inclusive approach in assessing biodiversity, ecosystems and their services to society.

Delegates from 145 member and observer countries and observers from 127 stakeholder organizations — including science organizations, civil society, the business and industry sector, indigenous and local communities — are expected to attend the meeting, which will be chaired by Professor Zakri Abdul Hamid, founding Chair of IPBES and science advisor to Malaysia’s Prime Minister.

The third plenary session of IPBES will be preceded by two stakeholder days, which will provide an opportunity to members of accredited observer organizations to discuss their views and possible contribution to the Platform’s work programme.

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