Global biodiversity assessment near completion: Researchers

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Frankfurt, Aug 2 (IANS) The first comprehensive overview for more than a decade of the state of knowledge about global biodiversity and the contributions of nature to people is nearing completion with a final meeting of authors this week at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre here, it was announced on Thursday.

Under the leadership of Josef Settele (Germany), Sandra Diaz (Argentina) and Eduardo S. Brondizio (Brazil and the US), 150 expert authors from over 50 countries around the world have contributed for almost three years to a massive interdisciplinary collaboration under the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The resulting Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will be considered by representatives of 130 governments in May next year in Paris at the seventh session of the IPBES Plenary.

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The research covers land-based ecosystems, inland waters and oceans, looking back 50 years to evaluate changes, and forward to consider scenarios, possible pathways and policy options.

Once published, it is expected to inform policy and action on biodiversity to 2030 and beyond.

Speaking about the importance of research, Senckenberg Centre Director Katrin Bohning-Gaese said: “Biodiversity loss is a major threat to human wellbeing, and there is a growing need for better scientific evidence in policy and decision making.”

“This is the major goal of IPBES, and it is also why Senckenberg is pleased to host this third and final author meeting of the global assessment. Research on biodiversity loss and its causes is a major focus of the more than 300 Senckenberg scientists, some of whom also contribute to the IPBES assessments.”

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“The IPBES Global Assessment is, in many ways, a successor to the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, published in 2005,” Josef Settele told journalists.

“Since then, the world has agreed to a range of key commitments — such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Global Assessment will help decision-makers, at every level, to assess progress, identify major gaps and consider a range of policy options to meet these key undertakings.”

IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body comprising 130 member-governments.

Established by governments in 2012, it provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the contributions they make to people.

–IANS

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