The process is underway to appoint experts to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Norwegian researchers have the chance to play a role when the panel is to present a global, scientific basis for the value of nature and the loss of biodiversity.
The loss of biodiversity is a global challenge that can damage ecosystems that provide people with several vital services such as food, clean water, building materials, and protection from the elements.
The loss of biodiversity can ultimately undermine our welfare, not least the welfare of the most impoverished people on the planet. There is thus a need for more scientific knowledge about the importance of nature, what happens in nature, why this happens, and what can be done to hinder the destruction of nature.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was formally established in April 2012.
The IPBES aims to summarize knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and disseminate such knowledge as a tool for policy makers.
The work begins in earnest in 2014, and the process is now underway of finding experts who will participate in this work.
The Norwegian Environment Agency is the national point of contact for the IPBES.
Knowledge is the key to making decisions and implementing measures that can reverse the negative trend in global biodiversity. This is why most of the world’s countries have combined forces to establish the IPBES.
The independent scientific panel aims to review all relevant international research in this area in order to present a common, global scientific basis.
The panel works in parallel to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and will commence its work in earnest this spring. Researchers are now being appointed to participate in this work.
“This is a golden opportunity for Norwegian researchers who can contribute key competence,” says Ellen Hambro, director of the Norwegian Environment Agency. “The IPBES will be instrumental in producing the scientific basis for countering the loss of biodiversity, and Norwegian researchers should seize the opportunity to participate.”
Work will commence this spring on producing several topical and methodological studies as well as a set of guidelines for regional and global studies. Moreover, three work groups are to study traditional and local knowledge, capacity building, and knowledge and data, respectively. The process of recruiting researchers for this work is now ongoing.
The nomination process follows the practice established by the IPCC.
“Norway has many excellent researchers who participate in the work for the IPCC. We hope that many excellent Norwegian researchers will also make an effort for the recently founded IPBES,” says Ellen Hambro, director of the Norwegian Environment Agency.
In Norway it is the Research Council of Norway that has called for researchers to be nominated for the IPBES, with 10 February as the submission deadline. The Research Council will then review the nominations and consult the Norwegian Environment Agency before submitting a list of candidates to the IPBES secretariat.
“By participating, researchers and their institutions gain access to invaluable international networks of researchers,” notes Hambro. “I therefore expect that many researchers will express their interest in participating.”
It is the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) that will select which researchers, nominated from the entire world, who will be allowed to participate in the panel’s work. The selection criteria include the experts’ qualifications, the need for a wide range of professional competence, and aspects such as geographical and gender balance.
The final decision concerning the participants will be made during March.