By Teuta Skorin, posted on September 24, 2015

IPBES - Mobilizing Stakeholders and Strengthening Capacity at ICCB-ECCB

SCB has been actively involved in the process of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) since the early days of the Platform's formation. Now, when the IPBES is halfway through its 2014-2018 work programme, SCB's IPBES Subcommittee is intensifyng its activities. Two major subjects of interests for SCB are formation of the IPBES Stakeholder Network and raising awareness about the IPBES within the conservation community.

Dr. Anne Lariguaderie, executive secretary of IPBES, delivered the first plenary talk at ICCB-ECCB in Montpellier, France in August 2015.

The later usually consists of dissemination of IPBES calls for nomination of experts on assessments (current calls). However, a perfect opportunity to broaden conservation professionals' knowledge on the Platform came at the 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology and the 4th European Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB-ECCB) that was held in Montpellier (France) in August. 

The organizers gave it a high significance by appointing Dr. Anne Larigauderie, the executive secretary of IPBES, to open the Congress. In her plenary talk, Dr. Larigauderie introduced the audience to the main concepts, structure and the history of this intergovernmental body. On the other hand, a session and a roundtable discussion on the current status of the IPBES process  went more into details and covered different aspects of the process including opportunities and pitfalls.

Another important IPBES event was held on the margins of the ICCB-ECCB 2015. On August 7th, SCB hosted the IPBES Stakeholder Meeting  at the Agropolis International offices in Montpellier. The main goal of the meeting was discussion on Terms of Reference and Stakeholder Registry,  two documents crucial for the operationalization of the IPBES Stakeholder Network.  

Creation of an independent body (Stakeholder Network) that would coordinate all IPBES stakeholders became possible after the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy (link)was adopted at the 3rd IPBES Plenary, held in January 2015 in Bonn , Germany.  The enthusiasm over the IPBES 3 success was transferred into determination to constitute the Network before the next IPBES Plenary planned for February 2016. Although mostly lead by a group of volunteers, this process  requires involvement of a broader community of IPBES stakeholders, both knowledge holders and users. As the whole work is done virtually through the IPBES Engagement Forum google group, I would urge you to sign up to this group and get involved in its work. The group is also a good source of all current IPBES activities.