Earth is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction, with literally dozens of species disappearing every day. Against this background, scientists are meeting in Paris to finalize the first global scientific stock-taking of biodiversity since 2005.
29 April 2019 | PARIS | On the day we learned that the world’s second largest emperor penguin colony was probably wiped out overnight after a key ice shelf collapsed in Antarctica, scientists from around the world are meeting to finalize the first global assessment on the world biodiversity since 2005. They are operating under the auspices of the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which distills available science into a state of the world’s biological diversity.
The process began three years ago, and culminates this week in Paris.
The full Global Assessment is due later this summer and will include input from indigenous organizations for the first time. A detailed Summary for Policy Makers is due next Monday, and the opening draft includes calls for reforming agriculture and supporting natural climate solutions, but little in the way of concrete proposals..
IPBES has often been called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of biodiversity.
The report will summarize the state of biological diversity and evaluate the efficacy of current policy programs, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to the IPBES web site, the report:
- Covers all land-based ecosystems (except Antarctica), inland water and the open oceans
- Evaluates changes over the past 50 years — and implications for our economies, livelihoods, food security and quality of life
- Explores impacts of trade and other global processes on biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Ranks the relative impacts of climate change, invasive species, pollution, sea and land use change and a range of other challenges to nature
- Identifies priority gaps in our available knowledge that will need to be filled
- Projects what biodiversity could look like in decades ahead under six future scenarios: Economic Optimism; Regional Competition; Global Sustainability; Business as Usual; Regional Sustainability and Reformed Markets, and
- Assesses policy, technology, governance, behaviour changes, options and pathways to reach global goals by looking at synergies and trade-offs between food production, water security, energy and infrastructure expansion, climate change mitigation, nature conservation and economic development
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