Society for Conservation Biology

A global community of conservation professionals

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Defining the Issue

Since the early 20th century, nations have realized that cooperation is essential to conserve shared resources such as wildlife and water, and to control pollution and other environmental ills. A suite of international environmental treaties now exist that focus, in whole or in part, on the protection of biological diversity. However, many countries continue to struggle to meet their political and economic obligations under these agreements to fully protect biodiversity.

How SCB Works on International Treaty Issues

SCB works to make more effective the key international treaties including:

Where possible, SCB sends formal delegations of staff and volunteers to negotiating sessions for the Convention on Biological Diversity and other international negotiating sessions. SCB's expert members promote position statements approved by the Policy Committee, and actively engage in the policy discussions at those key meetings and negotiations.

Highlighted Activity: Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

In April 21, 2012, after nearly a decade of negotiations, more than 90 nations agreed to establish an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  IPBES will function somewhat like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by providing a government-supported collaboration between the scientific community and policy makers regarding issues pertaining to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services. IPBES will be the first global mechanism that brings information regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services together, synthesizes that information, and provides analysis of that information for decision makers. SCB has been an active participant and contributor to many of the negotiations focusing on the establishment of IPBES, and is busy preparing for the first Plenary of IPBES in 2013. Learn more here.

How You Can Get Involved

In 2009, SCB established an ad hoc committee on the establishment of IPBES. Members of the ad hoc committee have filed detailed comments on behalf of SCB and have attended several negotiating sessions on the establishment of IPBES.  If you would like to work on the ad hoc Committee, please contact the policy director or the co-Chair of the ad hoc Committee Bengt-Gunnar "Bege" Jonsson.

In addition, SCB has begun to assemble volunteer task forces of SCB members to help the society address each of its five policy priorities. If you would like to volunteer to work on SCB’s Treaty task force, please contact the policy director or co-Chair Kyle Gracey.

Other Resources: