In a very busy day, the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-8) continued work in a working group setting, addressing the interim work plans for the intersessional period 2021-2022 for the five IPBES task forces. They also focused on the scoping reports for the transformative change and nexus assessments, adding an extra session to finalize considerations.
Highlights of the day included:
- Initial approval of the two scoping reports on the transformative change and nexus assessments by the working group, which were forwarded to plenary;
- Difficult negotiations on the scoping report for the nexus assessment, with suggestions tabled until the very last moment; and
- Smooth discussions on the work plans for the five IPBES task forces for the intersessional period 2021-2022.
Scoping report for the nexus assessment
The working group addressed all outstanding issues.
On the time frame of the analysis, Members agreed to references to the industrial revolution as well as to studies going back to the 1500s, alongside the initial time frame of 50 years. Members also agreed on a broad reference to “as far back as appropriate as data or information is available or as clearly relevant to future response options or to understand current status and trends.”
A lengthy discussion took place on references to the Paris Agreement. Members finally agreed to refer to the “the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement” or to “the Paris Agreement adopted under the UNFCCC.”
Regarding a section including overarching questions for the nexus assessment, following advice from an IPBES Expert and a proposal by Co-Chair Doug Beard (US), Members agreed to remove the section and instead retain it as an annex.
Members also reached consensus on sections addressing: data and information; capacity building and development; communication and outreach; technical support; and process and timetable.
During an extra session, Members addressed all remaining contentious items. They agreed on the title of the scoping report and resolved all remaining disagreements regarding chapters’ content.
One Member proposed a new chapter considering holistic approaches for understanding interlinkages between nature and society. Following a protracted back-and-forth between Members, they agreed to incorporate aspects of the proposal in the relevant decision text.
Members approved the scoping report for the nexus assessment and forwarded it to plenary for adoption Thursday.
Members further approved the scoping report for the transformative change assessment with minor changes, reflecting prior agreement regarding references to the Paris Agreement.
Building capacity, strengthening knowledge foundations, and supporting policy
Working group Co-Chair Sebsebe Demissew Woodmatas (Ethiopia) invited Members to discuss the Chair’s note on interim work plans for the intersessional period 2021-2022 for the five IPBES task forces on:
- Capacity building;
- Knowledge and data;
- Indigenous and local knowledge systems;
- Policy tools and methodologies; and
- Scenarios and models.
On the workplan for the task force on Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) systems, Members suggested various ideas, including:
- a comprehensive review for the conceptual framework with balanced participation from all regions;
- technological assistance for enhancing the inclusion of recommendations based on ILK;
- promoting inter-scientific dialogue between academic science and science based on traditional and local knowledge;
- developing and strengthening regional and national networks of Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ for enhancing their participation in IPBES deliverables; and
- providing support for the functioning and strengthening of the Participatory Mechanism.
Members finalized consideration of the interim workplans for all five task forces. IPBES-8 will continue tomorrow with discussions in the budget group behind closed doors. ENB coverage will continue Thursday with the closing plenary.
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