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Third Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) concludes

Delegates reviewed its first year of work and approved important measures to further operationalise the implementation of its ambitious 4-year work programme, which includes the development of one Global and five Regional Assessments on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and 4 thematic assessments. The first assessment – “Thematic assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production”- is expected to be released in 2016

IPBES (the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) aims to strengthen the science policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services issues across sub-regional, regional and global levels, by enhancing capacity building and knowledge generation, and by mobilising a network of experts across a wide range of disciplines and knowledge systems. Its main deliverables are assessments, guidance on policy support tools and methodologies, and communication tools.

The successful implementation of the IPBES work programme is expected to strengthen science policy interfaces on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services, expanding and diversifying the networks of experts and further strengthening the importance of biodiversity within the global policy agenda.

Future Earth contributes to the success of the platform through the activities of its core projects, which have contributed to IPBES by nominating experts, supporting capacity building and knowledge generation activities and facilitating the stakeholder engagement process, especially through DIVERSITAS, an international programme of biodiversity science which transitioned to Future Earth at the close of 2014, and the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Bob Watson, Vice-chair of IPBES Bureau and former Chair of the Future Earth interim Engagement Committee, speaking during the opening segment, highlighted the benefits of strategic partnerships and engagement with scientists, rights holders and stakeholders, citing the support given by Future Earth especially through its cluster activities: Building scientific support for IPBES knowledge generation and Global biodiversity monitoring, prediction and reporting.

In its statement, ICSU reiterated its commitment to work with IPBES through Future Earth, and mentioned the in-kind support that will be provided through the Future Earth clustering initiatives and the Belmont Forum’s activities. The Belmont Forum is a group of major funders of global change research and is a member of the Governing Council of Future Earth.

ICSU and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature together with NeFo (Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research in Germany) and EPBRS (The European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy) facilitated the organization of the IPBES Stakeholder Days prior to the Third Plenary of IPBES. The Stakeholder Days enable a diverse range of stakeholders and rights holders to convene and coordinate themselves to improve their engagement with IPBES and further support the implementation of its work programme and preparation of its products and deliverables.

The meeting was covered throughout by IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) Reporting Services. Reports from the Stakeholder Days and IPBES-3 can be found online.