Learned societies should support responsive, responsible, and efficient mechanisms to enhance engagement of their members in policy. SCB has recently launched and empowered policy committees, an ad hoc IPBES committee, local chapters, and policy task forces.
IPBES should recognize and welcome important knowledge holders and integrate them into IPBES structure and processes as much as possible.
Conservation threats prevail across scales, and case-studies that appear to be of local or regional interest may contain important lessons for other parts of the world - and are relevant for IPBES.
SCB strives to strengthen its regional sections and local chapters to address topics from global to local, and encourages greater policy contributions.
IPBES should similarly seek to build from small-scale case-studies to a larger-scale overview of threats and solutions. IPBES should build structural capacity to support such a multi-scale approach and cooperate with learned societies of various regions, sizes and scales.
Gaps in knowledge, complex patterns and even contradictory evidences will always exist, especially in the context of environmental sciences. Policy decisions, however, must be made despite contradictions, controversies, and uncertainties.
SCB recommends scientists and learned societies to take a “precautionary approach” in action and avoid a “cautionary silence”. Cautionary silence means avoiding involvement due to uncertainty; the precautionary approach, however, means avoiding the risks of uninformed actions while explicitly acknowledging gaps in knowledge.
IPBES should also incorporate the precautionary approach in its analyses and recommendations. To ensure its success, room must be found for expression of concurring or minority opinions, alongside careful recognition and quantification of uncertainty wherever possible, to support a truly transparent and inclusive discussion process.
- SCB is mapping its knowledge to ensure that experts are more readily accessible. IPBES should use such “knowledge hubs” when seeking to identify experts or when attempting to ratify their election.
Finally, SCB calls on IPBES to put aside regional or national interests in ensuring that IPBES builds on the best available knowledge, experts and decision processes and urges a balance between the ranges of expertise, coverage of regions and scales, and of course, gender.