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What has been the process for an IPBES so far?

Discussions on IPBES started as part of the consultation on an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB), which originated in January 2005, at a Conference entitled “Biodiversity: Science and Governance”, hosted by France at UNESCO. This conference published the Paris declaration on Biodiversity, which echoed a call made by the President of France for an "IPCC-like mechanism for biodiversity".

At the end of the IMoSEB consultation (November 2007), the multi-stakeholder international steering committee of the IMoSEB consultation invited the Executive Director of UNEP - in collaboration with governments and other partners - to convene an intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meeting to consider the establishment of an intergovernmental mechanism for biodiversity and ecosystem services. There was also consensus among the stakeholders involved in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) follow-up initiative that the follow up to the IMoSEB process and the MA follow-up process should merge. It was the coming together of the MA follow up process with the follow up to the IMoSEB consultations that led to the present process on IPBES.

Three intergovernmental and multistakeholders meetings, Malaysia in 2008 (Official documents), Kenya in 2009 (Official documents), Republic of Korea in 2010 (Official documents and daily web coverage), have been organised to discuss ways to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services. At the first two meetings, the gaps and needs for strengthening the science policy interface were identified, and at the 3rd meeting in June 2010, in Busan, Republic of Korea, governments decided that an IPBES should be established, and agreed on many of the principles of its operation as part of the Busan Outcome.

The Busan Outcome was welcomed by the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya in October 2010, and was subsequently considered at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). UNGA passed Resolution 65/162 (see para 19) requesting UNEP to convene a plenary meeting to fully operationalise IPBES at the earliest opportunity. This resolution was then taken on board in a decision at the 26th session of the UNEP Governing Council meeting, held in February 2011.

In response to these decisions, UNEP in cooperation with UNESCO, FAO, UNDP and other organisations convened two sessions of a plenary meeting in order to fully operationalise IPBES – the first in October 2011 (3-7 October, Nairobi, Kenya), and the second in April 2012 (16-21 April, Panama City, Republic of Panama). On 21st April 2012, IPBES was launched.

For a full history of the IPBES process

Larigauderie, A and Mooney HA 2010: The Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: moving a step closer to an IPCC-like mechanism for biodiversity, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2: 9-14; pdf


For more information go to the IPBES web site.

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