The sixth plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-6) opened on March 17 in Medellin, Colombia.
Similar to GIEC and its work on climate change science, IPBES aims to summarize knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystemic services, to provide clear information for decision-makers and public opinion. Established in 2012 and attached to the United Nations Environment Program, it is an intergovernmental body open to all UN members (it had 129 members as of March 2018).
At this plenary, the member states must examine four regional assessments (Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe-Central Asia) as well as a thematic assessment on soil degradation and the possibility of land restoration. These five documents include operational conclusions for public authorities.
During his opening speech at the GIEC general assembly in Paris on March 13, Jean-Yves Le Drian had called for strengthening scientific language to better inform the public at large. In Medellin, France is represented by a large ministerial and scientific delegation. In keeping with President Macron’s commitment, the French government intends to contribute to educational efforts on nature on a par with those that already exist on the climate. Along with climate disruption, the collapse of biodiversity is one of the major crises we are facing.
Paris will host the next session of IPBES in 2019, which will see the adoption, for the first time, of a global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystemic services. It will be one of the reference documents in developing a future global framework for biodiversity post-2020.