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Future Earth becomes strategic partner of IPBES

These and other photos from the Stakeholder Days of the fifth session of the IPBES Plenary are available here.

Future Earth and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) signed an agreement today that lays out a new collaboration between the two groups. Based on the agreement, Future Earth will become a strategic partner of IPBES and will work to mobilise the scientific and sustainability communities around the platform’s efforts. The signing took place during the lead up to the fifth session of the IPBES Plenary in Bonn, Germany.

“This is an important partnership for Future Earth,” says Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard, Director of the Future Earth Global Hub in Montreal. “IPBES is one of the key users of science in the international policy sector. This collaboration will give the Future Earth community new opportunities to ensure that robust research can shape policies around the planet’s natural support systems for years to come.”

IPBES is the world’s leading body for assessing and catalysing research on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Among other initiatives, the platform launched a suite of efforts last year to assess the state of biodiversity globally and in regions of the world. Future Earth has been an official observer organisation of IPBES since 2015. Along with one of its predecessor organisations, DIVERSITAS, Future Earth has made significant contributions to the platform’s work. That includes to IPBES’ first two assessments: on the state of the world’s pollinators and around how scenarios and modeling can inform biodiversity science and policy.

Prieur-Richard and Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of IPBES, signed the new memorandum of understanding at a ceremony during the “Stakeholder Days” held just before the fifth plenary session. This marquee event will run from 7 to 10 March.

Through the new partnership, Future Earth and IPBES will work together on their common goals around “the conservation, protection, enhancement and support of nature and natural resources, including biological diversity worldwide.” Among other roles, the collaboration will give Future Earth new capacities to:

Anne Larigauderie and Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard shake hands after signing the new memorandum of understanding between IPBES and Future Earth. Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu

  • Increase the number of experts that governments and institutions nominate to serve on IPBES assessments;
  • Mobilise scientists and others to participate in and/or review IPBES assessments;
  • Support the mobilisation of funding around the important priorities for research and engagement identified through IPBES assessments, such as on scenarios and modelling;
  • Carry out efforts to generate and synthesise knowledge and collect data to meet key gaps identified by IPBES;
  • Strengthen how leaders in policy, business, civil society and other non-research fields can get involved in the work of IPBES.

The Future Earth community has launched several activities in support of IPBES. bioDISCOVERY, a global research project of Future Earth, for example, supports the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Scenarios Network (ScenNet). This global effort seeks to link researchers from across the globe who are building scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The global research projects bioDISCOVERY, the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA), Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) and the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) have also participated in an effort to provide scientific support for IPBES. This initiative seeks to review existing indications, published or in development, that IPBES can use in its assessments; identify gaps in knowledge relevant to biodiversity and ecosystem services; and to provide information and links to supporting data to inform the platform’s global and regional assessments.

To learn more about Future Earth’s work with IPBES, contact Prieur-Richard at