Bee on purple leaf

In a busy closing plenary, the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-8) successfully concluded its work.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Approval of the scoping report, and thus the undertaking of a thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessment);
  • Approval to undertake a thematic assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, determinants of transformative change, and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (transformative change assessment);
  • Final approval of the interim workplans of the five IPBES task forces for the intersessional period 2021-2022; and
  • Lengthy debates on the Plenary’s reaction to the workshop reports connecting biodiversity and climate change, and biodiversity and pandemics.

In the final day’s deliberations, Members reached consensus on the two scoping reports without additional challenges. Having solved most of the contentious items in the working group, the approval of the scoping reports was smooth. The two assessments are formally underway.

Delegates held a lengthy negotiation regarding the two workshop reports on biodiversity and pandemics, and biodiversity and climate change. Many Members suggested “welcoming” the reports, underscoring their quality and importance for future decision making. Other Members opined that the process leading to the workshops and the reports “did not involve governments,” and preferred to “take note of” the reports.

Following the suggestion of numerous middle-ground solutions, and a Friends of the Chair discussion, Members agreed to: thank the organizers and participants of the two workshops; appreciate the significant effort that went into the reports; and invite the experts of the nexus and transformative change assessments to take them into account.

In their closing remarks, regional groups:

  • emphasized the success of the meeting, including approval of the scoping reports, despite the challenges posed by the virtual setting;
  • thanked experts for their excellent work;
  • highlighted the work of the IPBES task forces;
  • underscored opportunities for synergies and cooperation;
  • highlighted specific regional needs on cooperation and capacity building; and
  • urged for maintaining the momentum to address the biodiversity crisis.

IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie highlighted the achievements of IPBES-8, thanking all participants and stressing that the meeting set high standards for digital multilateral work. She underscored the need to “seize the moment” and ensure our decisions are informed by the best available science.

Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Executive Secretary

IPBES Chair Ana María Hernández Salgar highlighted the spirit of flexibility and cooperation, which enabled Members to overcome all challenges and deliver a successful outcome.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of IPBES-8 will be available on this site on Sunday, 27 June 2021.

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