Home > IPBES-6

Stakeholder Day and 6th Session of the Plenary of the
Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-6)

17 and 18-24 March 2018 | Medellín, Colombia

Opening Ceremony

Download ENB Meeting Reports

Report: English
17 Mar
18 Mar
19 Mar
20 Mar
21 Mar
22 Mar
23 Mar
Subscribe to ENB Photo Usage Information

L-R: Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, Mayor of Medellín, Colombia; Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia; President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia; IPBES Chair Robert Watson; and IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie

Carlos Tapia, Humboldt Institute, facilitated the opening ceremony of the sixth Plenary Session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-6).

Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, highlighted the city’s commitment to a green development pathway including through payment for ecosystem services involving the municipal government and communities living around watersheds.

IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie underlined the ambitious nature of IPBES-6 with the expected approval of five assessments. She drew attention to the vital contributions of these assessments to key policy mechanisms, including the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook and the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Via video message UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim, stressed the need for political will to address biodiversity loss, called for private sector engagement to ensure restoration of degraded lands and sustainable livelihoods, and emphasized the importance of communicating science in an exciting and innovative way. He underlined that “we cannot bore people into action.”

IPBES Chair Robert Watson (UK) emphasized that historical degradation and destruction of the environment have undermined the well-being of current and future generations. He noted the importance of IPBES-6 in ensuring public recognition of the dangers of biodiversity loss, adding that failure to address this loss will compromise the ability to meet many SDGs.

In a keynote address, President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia, highlighted several ongoing efforts to restore and preserve biodiversity throughout Colombia, a mega-biodiverse nation, including inter alia: increasing the number of terrestrial protected areas (PAs) by 14% and marine PAs (MPAs) by 13%; and regional efforts to protect marine corridors of the Andes, the Amazon and the Atlantic.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and daily reports from IPBES-6. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has produced a summary and analysis report of IPBES-6, which is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page

Participants stand during the national anthem of Colombia

Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, Mayor of Medellín, Colombia

IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie

UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim addresses participants via a video message

The local media at the opening ceremony

IPBES Chair Robert Watson

President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia

President Santos receives gifts from delegates at the end of the ceremony

Specific funding for coverage of IPBES-6 has been provided by the European Union (EU) and the IPBES Secretariat

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2018 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the Institute of La Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).