As the 8th Session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services started this June, governments, academics, development partners and community organizations carried a sense of purpose and determination into the discussions. The alarm bells have been ringing for a while, and yet even with the mounting challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing was certain. The dichotomy between protecting nature and our own socio-economic well-being was no longer standing the test of time.
This reaffirming message comes at a critical juncture, but why should we listen to IPBES?
Data and evidence must underpin all our decisions and actions. IPBES has been one of the foremost organizations in the biodiversity and ecosystems space, establishing robust, objective and transparent data on the rapid loss of species and the destruction of ecosystems. Bringing together an extraordinary number of scientists, civil society and knowledge holders to the conversation from both science and humanities, IPBES has grounded itself as a platform for matching robust data with practical knowledge that can inform the right policies to protect, conserve and restore while not losing sight of human development and well-being.
Since its inception, UNDP has played a critical role in supporting the work of the IPBES Platform, thanks to the contributions of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre. Speaking at the #IPBES8 opening session on behalf of four UN collaborative partners, Anne Juepner, Director of UNDP’s Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification, said, “The role of IPBES in mobilizing the best available evidence and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services remains of profound value to the work of the UN as we explore how best to recover from this pandemic, and most importantly, how to prevent the next one.”