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Formal process


Outcome of Second Plenary of IPBES (IPBES-2; 9-14 December 2013, Antalya, Turkey)

Read on IPBES website.

IPBES-2 focussed on the following issues:

A - IPBES conceptual framework

This framework includes six interlinked elements constituting a social ecological system that operates at various scales in time and space: nature; nature's benefits to people; anthropogenic assets; institutions and governance systems and other indirect drivers of change; direct drivers of change; and good quality of life. This framework also integrates conceptualisations of these elements in different knowledge systems (scientific, indigenous and local knowledge).

B - Work program of IPBES

Following up on the requests received from the platform Members, MEAs, and stakeholders (including DIVERSITAS/ICSU), the MEP prepared a work programme for the next 4 years including 4 main objectives (including 16 deliverables) :

  • Strengthen the capacity and knowledge foundations of the science-policy interface to implement key functions of the Platform
  • Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services at and across subregional and global levels
  • Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services with regard to thematic and methodological issues
  • Communicate and evaluate Platform activities, deliverables and findings.

IPES-2 also approved the initial scoping for three fast-track assessments on:

  • Pollination and pollinators associated with food production,
  • Models and scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and
  • Value, valuation and accounting of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

C - Operationalisation of the platform

The plenary adopted a set of Rules and Procedures regarding the selection of MEP members, the delivery and approval of the platform deliverables.

The plenary also adopted the IPBES institutional arrangements between FAO, UNDP, UNEP and UNESCO.

No decision was reached on the policy for admission of observers, the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, and collaborative partnership arrangement.

Finally, an important outcome of the meeting was the announcement of the nomination of Anne Larigauderie, former DIVERSITAS Executive Director, as the IPBES Executive Secretary.


Intersessional process towards IPBES-2 (2013)

Read on IPBES website.

IPBES-1 agreed on an intersessional process towards the second session of the IPBES plenary to be held 9-14 Dec 2013, Antalya, Turkey (IPBES-2).

With its first plenary meeting held in January 2013 in Bonn, Germany, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has moved into its operational phase. The newly elected Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) prepared key documents for the future functioning and the first thematic activities of IPBES: the draft work programme (2014-2018), the draft of a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and on Strategic Partnerships, as well as on adminisatrative and procedural matters. From June 17th to July 28th, these documents were released for public consultation, and governments and stakeholders of IPBES, like regional knowledge networks, were asked to provide their comments.

Stakeholders Engagement Strategy (SES) worshop (29-30 April 2013, Paris, France)

A workshop on "Drafting a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for IPBES" was convened by IUCN and ICSU-DIVERSITAS in collaboration with the IPBES Interim Secretariat in Paris, France, on 29-30 April 2013 with the objectives of:

  • defining the main elements of the draft SES for the IPBES programme of work; and
  • spelling out these elements and producing the first version of the draft SES.

25 participants representing as many organisations brainstormed on (i) the objectives, (ii) the scope of stakeholders, (iii) the guiding principles and (iv) a preliminary set of potential activities and modalities for the IPBES.

The workshop was covered by SciDev.Net (more).

The process defined at the workshop leading to the production of the draft SES for IPBES includes the following steps:

  • Review of the draft SES originating from the workshop by a group of over 50 IPBES stakeholders including workshop participants and invited participants unable to attend;
  • Revision of draft SES by ICSU and IUCN;
  • Submission of revised draft to the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) of IPBES for comments;
  • Revision of draft SES by ICSU and IUCN to include Bureau and MEP comments;
  • On-line consultation of draft SES convened by the IPBES Interim Secretariat;
  • Revision of draft SES to include comments received through formal on line consultation; and
  • Submission of revised draft to IPBES Bureau and MEP (29-31 August 2013), for consideration by IPBES-2.

IPBES Pan European Stakeholder meeting (16-18 July 2013, Leipzig, Germany)

With the following objectives:

  • To inform the European biodiversity knowledge community on the IPBES process
  • To provide direct input into the IPBES intersessional consultation in June/July by developing recommendations from a pan-European perspective, on
    • The draft work programme 2014-2018
    • The draft stakeholder engagement strategy for supporting the implementation of the work programme
  • To discuss and explore the options for the future support of IPBES from a (pan-)European regional perspective

ICSU and IUCN were invited to present the draft Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and took part in the working group discussions.

The following documents were produced:

Several other regional consultations were also organised:

  • Eastern Europe Regional Consultation Meeting (31 July - 2 Aug 2013, Budapest and Tihany, Hungary)
  • Africa Regional Consultation Meeting (22 - 24 July 2013, Nairobi, Kenya)
  • LAC Regional Consultation Meeting (11 - 13 July 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil)


Outcome of First Plenary of IPBES (IPBES-1; 21-26 January 2013, Bonn, Germany)

Read on IPBES website.

See Report of IPBES-1, IPBES/1/12.

The historic first session of the Plenary of IPBES (IPBES-1) took place from 21-26 January 2013, in Bonn, Germany. Over 500 participants attended the meeting, representing IPBES member (89) and non-member (23) governments and various stakeholder groups, including the scientific community. ICSU, the International Council for Science, attended as a representative of the scientific community.

Concrete achievements included the election of the Bureau, including the Chair, and of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP), the adoption of an initial budget, and agreement on steps toward the development of an initial IPBES work programme. Delegates, on the other hand, could not agree on the policy for admission of observers or the link between IPBES and the UN system, among other issues.

A) Nomination and selection of the Members of the Bureau and of the MEP

The Plenary elected Prof. AH Zakri (Malaysia) as Chair of the Platform for a period of 3 years. Prof. Zakri has served as co-chair of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board, together with Prof. RT Watson. The Plenary also elected its Bureau, in charge of administrative functions and its interim (2 years) Multidisciplinary Expert Group (MEP), in charge of scientific and technical functions. All members of the Bureau will be observers on the interim MEP.

B) Rules and Procedure for IPBES

a-Rules and Procedure for the operation of the Plenary

The plenary adopted a set of Rules of Procedure for the Plenary but could not agree on the admission of observers (see next para) and guidelines for the nomination, selection and election of the MEP. Regarding the MEP, discussions revolved around whether some text should be included on issues such as gender balance, multidisciplinarity and the effective participation of scientists from developing countries, on guidelines for nomination and selection of the MEP members and on whether to develop a code of practice or conflict of interest procedures.

b-Admission of observers

No decision was reached on the policy for admission of observers, which will be re-discussed at IPBES-2. Two options are proposed: Observers may be admitted to a meeting of the Plenary and participate in it 1) as long as no Member of the Platform objects (ie admittance is by consensus only), or 2) unless at least one third of the Members present at the meeting object.

C) Initial Work programme of IPBES

a- Important decisions on next steps included:

  • a request to the MEP and the Bureau to develop a draft work programme for 2014-2018;
  • a request to all Member countries and MEAs to submit requests to IPBES (see para b below )
  • a request to the MEP to recommend a conceptual framework for adoption by IPBES-2, based on the initial conceptual framework proposed, input received on-line from all stakeholders, and outcome of an international workshop to be organised by the MEP.
  • an invitation to IUCN and ICSU to work with relevant stakeholders to prepare in consultation with the Bureau and the MEP a draft stakeholder engagement strategy for consideration at IPBES-2.
  • a request to the Bureau to prepare guidance on the development of strategic partnerships with different categories of partners such as with multilateral environmental agreements, academic, scientific, and United Nations system organisations.

b- Procedure for receiving and prioritising requests put to the Platform

The Plenary adopted a procedure for receiving and prioritising requests submitted to IPBES. Governments and MEAs (Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements) related to biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g. CBD) can send requests to IPBES on scientific and technical matters that require the Platform’s work. Others, including all non-governmental stakeholders can only submit "inputs and suggestions", but not requests.

D) Initial Budget: The Plenary approved the proposed budget for 2013, which amounts to approximately US$3.1 million.


Stakeholder Day at IPBES-1 (20 January 2013, Bonn, Germany)

Read on IPBES website.

Read report of the IPBES stakeholders’ day.

IUCN and ICSU co-chaired the 3rd IPBES Stakeholder Day, organised by UNEP, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNDP and FAO to further discuss the involvement of scientific community and civil society in IPBES.

During the event, stakeholders crafted a joint statement that was shared with the IPBES plenary on Monday 21 January. Informal meetings during the week also led the group to make a final statement on the last day of IPBES-1.

Intersessional process (2012-2013)

Read on IPBES website.


Outcome of second session of IPBES plenary (16-21 April 2012, Panama City, Republic of Panama)

Read on IPBES website.

Read IPBES e-news 4 for a full report

See Report of second session of IPBES Plenary, UNEP/IPBES.MI/2/9.

Representatives of more than 90 Governments established IPBES in Panama City on Saturday 21 April afternoon, at the end of this second session of the IPBES plenary. The first IPBES Plenary meeting is likely to occur in January 2013. See UNEP Press Release and Nature article on IPBES establishment.

Other key achievements of this second session included:

A) Work Programme : The 16 potential activities proposed to operationalise the four functions of IPBES were discussed only briefly. Delegates agreed to start immediately some intersessional work, and to use the time between now and the First Plenary (early 2013) to prepare for the initial work programme. Some key deliverables of this intersessional work will include:

  • An overview of existing assessments with a critical analysis of their policy impact;
  • A draft multidisciplinary conceptual framework for IPBES;
  • A draft compilation and analysis of capacity building needs for IPBES; and
  • Draft guidelines for governments and observers to submit requests to the Plenary.

B) Functions and Structures of bodies that might be established: It was agreed to establish two subsidiary bodies: a Bureau to perform the administrative functions of IPBES, and a Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) to perform its scientific and technical functions. The structures of working groups or of any regional support structures were not discussed.

C) Rules and procedures (members and observers, representation, credentials and accreditation, officers of the Bureau, conduct of business, decision making, etc.): Agreement was reached on many of the rules of procedure for the meetings of the plenary of the platform, although many gaps in the rules remain to be negotiated. Other rules for the full operationalisation of IPBES will be agreed at the First Plenary.

D) Physical location of the platform's secretariat (5 applications received: France, Germany, India, Kenya and Republic of Korea): Germany won the bid to host the secretariat in Bonn. The offer from the German government includes an annual contribution to IPBES of 1.3 Million USD, plus 700K USD toward supporting individual projects (conferences, studies, etc.), and 6.5 Million USD toward bilateral capacity building activities related to the platform. UNEP will continue performing IPBES interim secretariat functions until the secretariat is fully in place in Bonn.

E) Host institutions (option envisaged: jointly hosted by FAO, UNDP, UNEP, and UNESCO): No agreement was reached on this issue. Representatives asked the four organisations to further elaborate on their joint proposal and present a final version at the first plenary meeting of IPBES. Clarifications were sought concerning, for example, the commitment of host institutions or which of the four organisation’s rules would be used for staffing and financing.

F) Budget: Delegates had before them several options ranging from a low end of 5 Million per year to a high end of 13 Million per year. This issue was not discussed.

DIVERSITAS actively contributed to the preparation of the first sessions of the plenary, with a focus on the Generation of Knowledge and Assessment Functions of the Programme of Work of IPBES. More


Intersessional process (2011-2012)

Read on IPBES website.


Outcome of first session of IPBES plenary (3-7 October 2011, Nairobi, Kenya)

Read on IPBES website.

See Report of first session of IPBES Plenary, UNEP/IPBES.MI/1/8.

Key achievements of this first session of an IPBES plenary include:

  • Agreeing to the four functions of IPBES, as defined in the Busan outcome;

See ICSU statement on Functions and operating principles

  • Agreeing to perform intersessional work on the rules of procedure and IPBES work programme for adoption in April 2012.
  • Narrowing a broad range of suggestions regarding governance to two clearly-defined options for the governance of the platform: 1) two separate bodies: one multi-disciplinary science panel overseeing the scientific credibility and independence of the platform, and one small executive committee or bureau to oversee the administrative and procedural matters of the platform; or 2) a single, multidisciplinary bureau including both decision-makers and members of the scientific community, and performing all functions.

See ICSU statement on governance

  • Agreeing on the process and criteria for selecting host institutions and the physical location of the secretariat. Governments are invited to signify their interest in providing the secretariat for IPBES by 15 January 2012; a decision will be made by governments at the second session in April 2012.
  • There was some confusion as to the legal status of the platform and whether the UN General Assembly (UNGA) had already established IPBES or not. Many representatives expressed their support for the option to establish the platform by the current plenary meeting, at its second session in April 2012.

The second session, in April 2012, will be in a position to finalise these modalities and institutional arrangements and consider the detailed draft work programme.

DIVERSITAS actively contributed to the preparation of the first sessions of the plenary, with a focus on the Generation of Knowledge and assessment functions of the Programme of Work of IPBES. More

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