Summary report, 9–14 December 2013
2nd Session of the IPBES Plenary
The second session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-2) met from 9-14 December 2013 in Antalya, Turkey. Over 400 participants attended the meeting, representing IPBES member and non-member governments, UN agencies and convention secretariats, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and various stakeholder groups.
Delegates adopted a set of decisions, known as “the Antalya Consensus,” which include: the work programme for 2014-2018, including fast track, thematic, regional and subregional assessments and activities for building capacities; a conceptual framework that considers different knowledge systems; and rules and procedures for the Platform on, inter alia, the nomination of future Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) members and procedures for the preparation of the Platform’s deliverables. In addition, delegates agreed to a decision on a collaborative partnership arrangement with four UN agencies. Although some issues remain unresolved, including some of the rules and procedures and issues on communications and stakeholder engagement, many praised the Antalya Consensus as a major step towards operationalizing the Platform. Along these lines, during Friday’s plenary session, it was announced that Anne Larigauderie has been appointed as the first IPBES Executive Secretary.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF IPBES
The initiative to hold consultations regarding the establishment of an IPBES emerged from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) follow-up process, and the outcomes of the International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) process.
MILLENNIUM ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT: From 2001 to 2005, the MA assessed the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being, involving the work of more than 1,360 experts worldwide. Published in 2005, the MA outcomes provide the first state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the conditions and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide, as well as the scientific basis for action to conserve and use them sustainably. In 2006, the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP) in Curitiba, Brazil, adopted a decision on the MA’s implications for the work of the CBD, in which it encourages parties to, inter alia, use the MA framework for sub-global and national assessments. In 2007, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) conducted an evaluation of the MA and initiated the MA follow-up process.
IMOSEB PROCESS: The proposal for a Consultative Process towards an IMoSEB was initiated at the Paris Conference on Biodiversity, Science and Governance, held in January 2005. The proposal received political support from then French President Jacques Chirac and the French Government. A consultative process was launched, with an International Steering Committee, an Executive Committee and an Executive Secretariat entrusted to the Institut Français de la Biodiversité, which was established to support and facilitate discussions.
The International Steering Committee met for the first time in Paris, France, in February 2006. Participants concurred that the current system for linking science and policy in the area of biodiversity needed improvement. A number of case studies were developed in 2006, while the idea for an IMoSEB was discussed at a number of events, including at CBD COP 8, and a workshop on “International Science-Policy Interfaces for Biodiversity Governance” held in Leipzig, Germany, in October 2006.
At the second meeting of the International Steering Committee, held in December 2006, the Executive Committee reported on the results of the case studies and identified a series of “needs and options.” A document outlining key ideas, entitled “International Steering Committee Members’ Responses: ‘Needs and Options’ Document,” was prepared by the Executive Secretariat and distributed in January 2007. The document was designed to assist participants during a series of regional consultations. Six regional consultations were held between January 2007 and May 2008.
The final meeting of the IMoSEB International Steering Committee was held from 15-17 November 2007 in Montpellier, France. The meeting reviewed the outcomes of the regional consultations and further discussed the needs and options for an IMoSEB, as well as how to improve the science-policy interface for biodiversity at all levels. In its final statement, while not recommending the formation of a new institution, the International Steering Committee agreed to invite donors and governments to provide support for the further and urgent consideration of the establishment of a science-policy interface. It further invited the Executive Director of UNEP and others to convene a meeting to consider establishing such an interface.
IPBES CONCEPT: In response to the IMoSEB outcome, UNEP convened an Ad Hoc Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on an IPBES. The Government of France, in close consultation with experts in their personal capacity, drafted a concept note on the rationale, core mandate, expected outcomes, focus areas and operational modalities of a possible IPBES, which was made available for peer review and subsequently revised.
The IMoSEB outcome and the IPBES concept note were also considered in 2008 by CBD COP 9. In Decision IX/15 (follow-up to the MA), the COP welcomed the decision of the UNEP Executive Director to convene an Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on an IPBES, and requested the CBD Ad Hoc Working Group on Review of Implementation to consider the meetings’ outcomes.
IPBES-I: The first Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on an IPBES was held from 10-12 November 2008, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Participants adopted a Chair’s summary, which recommended that the UNEP Executive Director report the meeting’s outcomes to the twenty-fifth session of the UNEP Governing Council (GC-25) and convene a second meeting. The summary contained two additional recommendations: to continue exploring mechanisms to improve the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being and sustainable development; and that UNEP undertake a preliminary gap analysis to facilitate the discussions, to be made available to the UNEP GC.
UNEP GC-25/GMEF: The 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-25/GMEF), held in February 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, adopted Decision 25/10 calling on UNEP to conduct further work to explore ways and means to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity. In response to the decision, UNEP invited governments and organizations to participate in an open peer review of the preliminary gap analysis on existing interfaces on biodiversity and ecosystem services. These comments were incorporated into the final gap analysis.
IPBES-II: At this meeting, held from 5-9 October 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, participants exchanged views on the major findings of the gap analysis, options to strengthen the science-policy interface, functions and possible governance structures of an IPBES. Participants adopted a Chair’s Summary of Outcomes and Discussions, which highlighted areas of agreement and reflected the differing views expressed during the meeting. Most delegates expressed support for a new mechanism that carries out assessments and generates and disseminates policy-relevant advice, and emphasized the importance of capacity building and equitable participation from developing countries.
UNEP GCSS-11/GMEF: The 11th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/GMEF, held during February 2010 in Bali, Indonesia, adopted a decision calling on UNEP to organize a final meeting to establish an IPBES.
IPBES-III: At this meeting, held from 7-11 June 2010 in Busan, Republic of Korea, delegates discussed whether to establish an IPBES and negotiated text on considerations for the platform’s functions, guiding principles and recommendations. They adopted the Busan Outcome, agreeing that an IPBES should be established and be scientifically independent, calling for collaboration with existing initiatives on biodiversity and ecosystem services. It was also agreed that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) be invited to consider the conclusions of the meeting and take appropriate action for establishing an IPBES.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: UNGA Resolution 65/162 requested UNEP to fully operationalize the platform and convene a plenary meeting to determine the modalities and institutional arrangements for the platform at the earliest opportunity.
UNEP GC-26/GMEF: This meeting, held from 21-24 February 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, adopted Decision 26/4, which endorsed the outcome of IPBES-III and called for convening a plenary session for an IPBES to determine the modalities and institutional arrangements of the platform.
1ST SESSION OF A PLENARY FOR AN IPBES: The first session of the plenary meeting on IPBES met from 3-7 October 2011 at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates considered the modalities and institutional arrangements for an IPBES, including: the functions and operating principles of the platform; legal issues relating to the establishment and operationalization of the platform; the work programme of the platform; and the criteria for selecting host institutions and the physical location of the secretariat.
2ND SESSION OF A PLENARY FOR AN IPBES: The second session of the plenary meeting on an IPBES took place from 16-21 April 2012 in Panama City, Panama. Delegates considered the modalities and institutional arrangements for the IPBES, including functions and structures of bodies that might be established under the platform, rules of procedure, and the work programme of the platform. Delegates selected Bonn, Germany, as the physical location of the IPBES Secretariat and adopted a resolution establishing IPBES.
IPBES-1: The first session of the Plenary of IPBES met from 21-26 January 2013 in Bonn, Germany. Delegates: elected the IPBES Chair, the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP); adopted an initial budget; and agreed on steps toward the development of an initial IPBES work programme, 2014-2018. Other issues that were discussed but remained unresolved included the rules of procedure on the admission of observers.
IPBES-2 opened on Monday, 9 December when Basak Koç, GS TV ANA Haber, Turkey, read messages from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Minister of Forest and Water Affairs Veysel Eroğlu, urging that decisions be taken to operationalize the Platform. Participants then watched a video on Turkish biodiversity, which underscored IPBES’ important role in preserving biodiversity.
A minute of silence was held to mark the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw said that “nature is the wealth of the poor” and noted that ecosystems provide the resources that underpin development. He also called for the Plenary to approve the Platform’s proposed budget and work programme.
Nurettin Akman, Deputy Minister of Forest and Water Affairs, Turkey, emphasized IPBES’ role in helping to halt biodiversity loss and stressed the need for a multidisciplinary approach to operationalize the Platform.
IPBES Chair Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia) invited participants to lay the foundation for IPBES to be a credible, permanent, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)-like body that turns knowledge into policy and goes beyond the IPCC by embedding capacity building into all of its activities. He said the proposed conceptual framework recognizes different knowledge systems without compromising scientific rigor, while the ambitious draft work programme incorporates indigenous and local knowledge. He invited financial and in-kind contributions to support IPBES’ work.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Eastern Europe proposed, and the Plenary agreed, to elect Ioseb Kartsivadze (Georgia) as alternate member for the first half of the term and Adem Bilgin (Turkey) as alternate Bureau member for the second half. During Tuesday’s plenary session, the African Group proposed, and the Plenary agreed, to elect Alice Akinyi Kaudia (Kenya) as alternate Bureau member for Africa.
The Plenary adopted the session’s draft agenda (IPBES/2/1 and IPBES/2/1/Add.1) and organization of work (IPBES/2/2) without amendment.
Chair Zakri reported that the number of IPBES members now totals 115. Chair Zakri recalled that at the first session of the Plenary, member states had agreed to an interim procedure for new observers (IPBES/2/10). Delegates agreed to accept the proposed list of observers for the current session (IPBES/2/INF/11).
CREDENTIALS: On Friday, during plenary, Masa Nagai, UNEP Legal Officer, announced that 76 members have submitted their credentials and could fully take part in the decisions and workings of IPBES-2.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Mexico, for the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), stated that IPBES must contribute to slowing down biodiversity loss, while at the same time promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity, including through supporting indigenous and local communities (ILCs).
Ethiopia, for the African Group, welcomed the inclusion of different knowledge systems in the IPBES draft work programme. He urged: progress on technology and knowledge transfer; regional balance; and continued contributions to capacity building.
Malaysia, for the Asia-Pacific Group, supported the proposed programme of work and called for forging synergies between indigenous and other knowledge systems.
Azerbaijan, for Eastern Europe, called for capacity building and effective participation of all countries within IPBES and stressed the Platform’s role in providing policy advice to decision makers. Switzerland highlighted quality as an essential attribute of IPBES, supporting a single set of procedures for all assessments, transparency, openness and inclusiveness. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said participants to the Stakeholders’ Days, held on 7-8 December 2013, had agreed to, inter alia: urge IPBES to adopt the proposed stakeholder engagement strategy to support implementation of the IPBES work programme; call for a mechanism to facilitate stakeholders’ interaction with the Platform, such as a forum; and call for stakeholder participation to be financed through the IPBES budget.
INITIAL WORK PROGRAMME OF THE PLATFORM
WORK PROGRAMME 2014-2018 AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: The draft programme of work for the period 2014-2018 (IPBES/2/2 and Add.1) was introduced by Robert Watson, Bureau Member for Western Europe and Other States. Carlos Alfredo Joly, MEP Co-Chair, presented the proposed conceptual framework for IPBES (IPBES/2/4, IPBES/2/INF/2 and IPBES/2/INF/2/Add.1). These agenda items were addressed in plenary on Monday and Tuesday. A contact group was established, co-chaired by Bureau Members Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Africa) and Ivar Baste (Western Europe and Other States), which met throughout the week. During Friday’s plenary, delegates adopted the conceptual framework to be annexed to the work programme and, during Saturday’s plenary, they adopted the decision on the work programme for the period 2014-2018 and its annexes.
Discussions on the work programme took a great deal of delegates’ time addressing, among other issues: the prioritization and schedule for carrying out assessments; the consideration of different knowledge systems in Platform activities; and the creation of task forces to support the work programme’s implementation. The issue of the conceptual framework was not controversial.
During Monday’s plenary, the US called for high quality assessments and suggested prioritizing the global assessment. Bolivia expressed concern about the work programme’s tendency to consider biodiversity within the concept of the green economy and stressed that a diversity of approaches and the early involvement of ILCs is needed. The UK supported a bottom-up approach to global assessments that builds on work at the regional and subregional levels. Eastern Europe said that the draft work programme presents challenging timelines. France, with others, urged increased consideration of the marine environment. Thailand highlighted the importance of considering socio-economic drivers of biodiversity changes.
On the proposed deliverables, many states supported the assessment on pollination and food production. Lithuania, the African Group and others supported assessments on invasive species, and land degradation and restoration. Costa Rica supported assessing invasive species in marine ecosystems. GRULAC called for an evaluation of the sustainable use of biodiversity. GRULAC, with others, also supported the assessment on tools and methodologies regarding value, valuation and accounting of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
GRULAC further said that the programme should not be limited to assessments but also include tools and recommendations of use to IPBES members. Malaysia emphasized the need to define capacity-building needs and match them with financial resources, as well as to take into account ILCs’ knowledge systems. GRULAC and the African Group highlighted the role of centers of excellence. The Republic of Korea offered to host a regional technical unit to support implementation.
Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities urged that IPBES engage with them as partners rather than as stakeholders for successful implementation. The CBD noted its synergistic relationship with IPBES, suggesting the need for alignment between the two organizations when addressing activities such as the mid-term review of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Global Biodiversity Information Facility expressed readiness to provide technical support on data and knowledge gathering.
On Tuesday, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities urged greater emphasis on the contribution of cultures and people to nature’s services. The Ramsar Convention supported work on valuation of biodiversity and, with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the assessment of land degradation and restoration. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) said the assessment on sustainable use of biodiversity would contribute to the work of multilateral environmental agreements’ (MEAs). International Council for Science (ICSU) supported the proposed work on modeling and scenarios, accounting and valuation. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) suggested that work they had undertaken be considered in IPBES’ activities. The Convention on Migratory Species called for a global assessment on migratory species and for integrating the consideration of the role of migratory species into relevant assessments. The League of Arab States called for the economic valuation of wetlands.
During contact group discussions, delegates addressed a fast track thematic assessment of pollination and food production, to be delivered by March 2015, and agreed to new references to “pollinators” and their contribution “to gene flows and restoration of ecosystems” in the scope of the assessment. Delegates then addressed an initial scoping for the fast track assessment of pollination and food production prepared by the MEP. One delegate said that the scope of the assessment overlaps with work undertaken by FAO. Some delegates suggested reflecting the elements of the conceptual framework in the scoping study. Others underscored that the assessment should provide new elements and concrete tools for decision-makers. One delegate suggested that the scoping study be approved by the Plenary in Antalya to ensure that the assessment can be carried out by 2015. Several delegates called for going beyond the assessment of the economic value of pollination for food production. Delegates also suggested focusing on pollinators other than bees, including those that are utilized by ILCs, and integrating references to strategic partnerships. Noting that the scope of the assessment had been notably expanded, delegates agreed to the text of the scoping study, acknowledging that in the future it may be necessary to adjust its outline and revisit its timeline.
On whether to conduct a thematic assessment on either land degradation and restoration or invasive alien species and their control, there was broad support for undertaking both studies. Some delegates suggested that both studies be fast track assessments, while others queried if this was feasible. One developing country proposed considering the impact of sandstorms in the assessment of land degradation and restoration. Another one proposed, and others supported, prioritizing a thematic assessment of “sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, and strengthening capacities and tools.” Delegates agreed to highlight this activity’s contribution to Aichi Target 18 (traditional knowledge) and ensure that indigenous and local knowledge is included.
On policy support tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modeling, delegates agreed that a guide on making these policy tools relevant for policy-making be developed and continually updated. Delegates agreed to include language on linking the development of scenarios and modeling with necessary tools, such as databases and geo-spatial data, and on promoting methods for using different types of knowledge systems.
Delegates then considered the scoping study on the assessment of scenarios and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services, which was prepared by the MEP. Recommendations included: focusing on participatory methods to bridge the assessment’s outcomes with public policy processes; and considering not only global and regional, but also national environmental assessment modeling experiences.
Delegates then addressed policy support tools and methodologies regarding value, valuation and accounting of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the contact group. A developed country proposed adding a reference to “economic and non-economic valuation” as opposed to “market and non-market economic valuation.” One delegate suggested language on holistic valuation. Another supported a reference to different visions, approaches and knowledge systems. Language on developing new tools for “intrinsic, existence and bequeath values” was also proposed. Delegates agreed to both amendments.
Delegates turned to the scoping study on the assessment of value, valuation and accounting of biodiversity and ecosystem services, prepared by the MEP. Proposals included broadening the scope and rationale of the assessment. There was also considerable support for incorporating different views of biodiversity and nature value approaches. Delegates agreed to a two-step approach comprising: elaboration of guidance for the other assessments; and further developing the foundation for the full fast track assessment at a later stage. They then discussed whether the assessment to be performed as part of the second step would be a “fast track” or a thematic assessment, and decided to further consider the issue pending definition of “fast track.”
Delegates also agreed that the Bureau, in addition to the MEP, select institutions that could provide support to the Platform’s deliverables and that the Secretariat issue calls for technical support “based on criteria established by the MEP and the Bureau.”
Delegates then considered terms of reference for three task forces on: capacity building; knowledge and data; and indigenous and local knowledge systems. Delegates agreed that the task force on indigenous knowledge systems be formed “for the period of the work programme 2014-2018” to facilitate the establishment of a roster and a network of experts. Delegates also agreed that the task force establish a participatory mechanism for indigenous and local knowledge systems, facilitate the linkages between ILCs and scientists, and strengthen the quality of indigenous peoples’ participation in the Platform’s deliverables. Delegates agreed to enable the Plenary to ask the MEP to select task forces and to include “other organizations” in addition to “strategic partners.” On membership of the capacity-building task force, delegates agreed to a task force that comprises: two Bureau members and three MEP members, covering the five UN regions between them; and 20 additional experts. This text was also used for the membership composition of the other task forces. On the task force on knowledge and data, delegates agreed to state the need for catalyzing the generation of new knowledge and data. Members suggested referencing “knowledge foundation” instead of “knowledge generation.” The terms of reference for the three task forces were agreed on, as amended.
Delegates also addressed regional and subregional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services. One delegate suggested that the scoping process be based on bio-geographical, socio-economic and political considerations and account for marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Many members opposed, with one delegate saying that marine ABNJ are only relevant to the global assessment and that ABNJ considerations should be part of the scoping exercise. Other delegates argued that marine ABNJ do not fall within the mandate of any state and supported considering them in regional and subregional assessments. The reference was eventually deleted. Delegates agreed that the Platform would prepare a set of regional and subregional assessments. Delegates emphasized capacity building and the possible involvement of regional and national centers of excellence.
On the communication and evaluation of the Platform’s activities, one delegate supported developing an information and data management plan to be developed by the Secretariat with the Bureau to support future assessments. Delegates discussed developing a catalogue of policy support tools and methodologies as a component of an information management system. One participant suggested including a reference to a range of methodologies “according to different visions, approaches and knowledge systems,” which was retained. Another delegate drew attention to the work being done in the CBD Clearing-House Mechanism.
Delegates addressed a proposed activity to perform reviews of the Platform’s effectiveness to inform its future development. They discussed whether the Bureau, the MEP and/or an independent body would be best placed to develop a procedure for this activity. One participant insisted that an independent body should develop the procedure. Others said the MEP could develop it. Co-Chair Oteng-Yeboah suggested that the Bureau also be involved, since the task is both administrative and scientific. Delegates agreed that the MEP develop the procedure “in consultation with the Bureau” and that the review be conducted by an independent “body.”
Participants considered a chart containing the schedule for IPBES deliverables, which was based on the contact group discussion held on Wednesday and included: a new Plenary session in 2014; a new deliverable on sustainable use of biodiversity, which would cost nearly US$1 million; and establishing a task force, instead of a time-bound expert group, on procedures for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems. Several delegates supported a staggered approach to deliverables, suggesting that a limited number of initial assessments would guarantee the high quality of IPBES products and enable the MEP to gain experience. Others opposed a staggered approach, emphasizing the need for IPBES to be ambitious and make use of partnerships and the breadth of available expertise to undertake assessments. One delegate suggested conducting two assessments in 2014 and another two in 2015. Another delegate proposed conducting scoping studies on all assessments in 2014. The latter proposal received considerable support, with one delegate suggesting the use of electronic means in the initial scoping work to limit financial and environmental impacts. On Plenary sessions, one member opposed holding the next session in 2014, preferring that funds be used for implementation. Others said a 2014 meeting was key to maintain momentum, review priorities and ensure IPBES was on track. Co-Chair Baste introduced a new costing table for the work programme deliverables based on a staggered scheduled. Delegates agreed on the cost schedule presented.
During the closing plenary, France, also for the UK and the Netherlands, expressed concern that overseas territories were not included in the regional and subregional structure of assessments, urging that these territories be included in assessments by the regions and subregions in which they are located. Argentina and Ethiopia opposed, with the latter suggesting that overseas territories be included only in the global assessment. The concerns expressed were then recorded in the meeting’s report.
Ethiopia suggested, and delegates agreed, to delete references to “the Group on Earth Observation, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and Future Earth” from the work programme, in the section on generation, access to and management of knowledge and data. The document was adopted as amended.
On confirmed in-kind contributions to meet the cost elements to support implementation of the work programme, received as of 14 December 2013, Norway clarified its offer, indicating that it comprises the provision of three positions for capacity building by a technical support unit co-located with the Norwegian Environment Agency in Trondheim. Brazil announced an in-kind contribution to support the implementation of the work programme totalling approximately BRL233,000. The document was adopted as amended.
On the draft decision on the work programme for the period 2014-2018, the US proposed requesting the MEP, “in consultation with the Bureau,” to develop a guide on production and integration of assessments from and across all scales. The draft decision and all its annexes were adopted as amended.
Final Decision: In the decision (IPBES/2/CRP.17), the Plenary, inter alia, adopts the work programme of the Platform for the period 2014-2018 (IPBES/2/CRP.9) to be implemented in accordance with the approved biennial budget. In addition, the Plenary, inter alia:
- establishes a task force on capacity building led by the Bureau in consultation with the MEP (IPBES/2/CRP.12) to be constituted on the basis of a call for expressions of interest; requests the task force to develop fellowship, exchange and training programmes; and invites members and observers to submit statements of their capacity-building needs;
- establishes a task force on indigenous and local knowledge systems led by the MEP in consultation with the Bureau (IPBES/2/CRP.14);
- establishes a task force on knowledge and data led by the Bureau in consultation with the MEP (IPBES/2/CRP.13);
- requests the MEP and the Bureau to develop draft procedures for and approaches to working with indigenous and local knowledge systems; and requests the MEP and the Bureau to establish in 2014 a roster and network of experts and a participatory mechanism for working with various knowledge systems;
- on regional and subregional assessments, requests the MEP, in consultation with the Bureau and supported by a task-specific expert group, to develop a guide to the production and integration of assessments from and across all levels; and requests the MEP and the Bureau to undertake a scoping process for a set of regional and subregional assessments;
- on fast-track thematic and methodological assessments, approves the undertaking of assessments on: pollination and pollinators associated with food production (IPBES/2/CRP.10); and a scenario analysis and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services(IPBES/2/CRP.20);
- approves the initiation of scoping for: a methodological assessment on the conceptualization of values of biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people and development of a preliminary guide; a thematic assessment of land degradation and restoration; a thematic assessment of invasive alien species; and a thematic assessment of sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and strengthening capacities and tools;
- requests the Secretariat to maintain an online catalogue of assessments;
- requests the Secretariat working with the Bureau to develop an information management plan that supports the Platform’s work;
- requests the MEP and the Bureau to develop a catalogue of policy tools and methodologies and to submit it for review by the Plenary;
- requests the MEP in consultation with the Bureau to develop a procedure for the review of the Platform; and
- welcomes the offers for in-kind contributions received as of 14 December 2013 (IPBES/2/CRP.18); requests the Bureau and the Executive Secretary to establish the institutional arrangements to operationalize the technical support; and invites the submission of additional offers of in-kind contributions.
The decision also includes the following annexes:
- Work programme for the period 2014-2018 (IPBES/2/CRP.9);
- Conceptual framework of IPBES (IPBES/2/CRP.3/Rev.1);
- Terms of reference for the task force on capacity building (IPBES/2/CRP.12);
- Terms of reference for the task force on knowledge and data (IPBES/2/CRP.13);
- Terms of reference for the task force on indigenous and local knowledge (IPBES/2/CRP.14);
- Initial scoping for the fast-track thematic assessment of pollination and pollinators associated with food production (IPBES/2/CRP.10);
- Initial scoping for the fast-track methodological assessment of scenarios and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES/2/CRP.20); and
- Confirmed in-kind contributions to support implementation of the work programme (IPBES/2/CRP.18/Rev.1)
FINANCIAL AND BUDGETARY ARRANGEMENTS
BUDGET 2014-2018: This item was first taken up by the Plenary on Monday, where the draft budget for 2014-2018 (IPBES/2/5) was addressed. A contact group on the budget met from Tuesday through Saturday, chaired by Bureau Member Spencer Thomas (Grenada). Main issues addressed included expenditure for 2013 and the draft budget for 2014-2015. Delegates also addressed pledges for 2013 and 2014.
The contact group deliberations included discussions of pledges and in-kind contributions for the period of the work programme, staffing issues at the Secretariat, communications budget and prioritization of work programme deliverables. The contact group’s draft decision was adopted by the Plenary on Saturday, without amendments.
Final Decision: In its decision on the budget (IPBES/2/CRP.15), the Plenary takes note of:
- the status of the cash contributions received by the Platform in 2012 and 2013;
- the pledges made for 2013, 2014 and 2015;
- the in-kind contributions received in 2013 as set out in the annex; and
- the status of expenditure for 2013, the approved budget for the biennium 2014-2015 and the indicative budget for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The Plenary also invites pledges and contributions to the trust fund, as well as in-kind contributions, and requests the Chair to report to IPBES-3 on his activities and requests the Secretariat to inform IPBES-3 on the status of implementation of the work programme in relation to the budget.
The Plenary adopts the budget for the biennium 2014-2015 equaling US$7,314,873 in 2014 and US$8,873,226 in 2015, as set out in the annex, with a view to reviewing the budget at its third session.
TRUST FUND AND FINANCIAL PROCEDURES: This item (IPBES/2/6 and 7) was addressed by the Plenary on Tuesday, and a decision was adopted on Friday. Discussions addressed the adoption of funding procedures and trust fund arrangements. Topics discussed included the flexibility of funding procedures, trust fund arrangements, earmarked contributions and proportionality of private contributions compared to government contributions.
Final Decision: In the decision on financial and budgetary arrangements (IPBES/2/CRP.8/Rev.1), the Plenary requests UNEP to establish a trust fund for the Platform where UNEP charges 8% of the expenditure incurred and assumes all administrative and financial responsibilities pertaining to the management of the Secretariat.
The Plenary also: invites pledges and contributions from governments, UN bodies, the Global Environment Facility, intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholders to support the work of the Platform; and adopts the financial procedures as set out in the annex to the decision.
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE PLATFORM’S OPERATION
REGIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE MEP AND REVIEW OF PROCEDURES FOR MEP MEMBERS SELECTION: These two items were discussed in plenary on Tuesday, and in a contact group that met from Tuesday through Saturday. The group was co-chaired by Bureau Members Robert Watson (Western Europe and Other States) and Leonel Sierralta (GRULAC) and also addressed the agenda item on procedures for Platform deliverables. In Saturday’s plenary, delegates considered a draft decision on the MEP, which was adopted without amendment. A decision on the rules of procedure for the MEP was also adopted.
On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced a note on the potential future regional structure and composition of the MEP (IPBES/2/8). Bureau Member Watson explained that the recommendation for regional structure is to retain the standard UN regions for the MEP, with five members selected from each region. Regarding the selection of new MEP members, he said that the proposal is for regions to put forward eight potential candidates, including three preferred candidates for 15 positions on the MEP. Based on regional nominations, the Bureau would then propose candidates for the remaining ten positions, with the final decision taken by the Plenary.
The proposed regional structure received broad support, with the African Group, GRULAC, and the 18 European Union (EU) IPBES members, as well as the Russian Federation, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, supporting the selection of MEP candidates based on the five UN regions.
On the selection of new MEP members, many delegations, including the African Group, GRULAC, the Asia-Pacific Group, and the Russian Federation urged that the regions select all their candidates to the MEP. The EU IPBES members called for a more flexible approach. Switzerland supported using a two-step approach with Bureau involvement and, supported by IUCN and ICSU, suggested giving stakeholders the opportunity to submit nominations. IUCN stressed the need for transparency in the MEP member selection process. Delegates then commented on the terms of current MEP members, with GRULAC, the African Group and Norway supporting the extension of the term of current MEP members until IPBES-3. Norway also suggested staggering terms to ensure some continuity.
In the contact group, the discussion initially focused on the MEP regional structure, in particular, whether the MEP should be composed of 25 members or include additional members to represent ILCs. Many delegates supported that the membership should be limited to 25, with some noting that indigenous and local knowledge representation could be ensured by providing guidance on balanced representation to the regions. Many participants said that balance is needed at the MEP level, rather than within each region, while others suggested that regional balance is desirable. Ultimately, there was widespread support for the view that each region should seek to achieve a certain degree of “diversity” in their nominations in order to achieve overall MEP balance. The notion that an iterative process involving discussions among regions to flag expected nominations would be desirable also received considerable support. Delegates also addressed the need to ensure: continuity within the MEP by, inter alia, avoiding split terms by some regions; and that the MEP possesses a range of skills.
On MEP rules, the discussion focused on possible amendments to the draft rules of procedure for subsidiary bodies. Issues addressed included: the possible participation of Bureau members at MEP meetings as observers; and the nomination and selection of MEP members, including possible nominations by observers. Regarding Bureau participation in MEP meetings, one delegate expressed concern that it could have significant budgetary implications and may distract MEP members from their core tasks. Other participants supported giving flexibility to the MEP Co-Chairs to decide who should be invited to MEP meetings, based on the expertise required for each meeting. One delegate supported inviting Bureau members to all MEP meetings. A developing country delegate supported inviting the Bureau Chair to all MEP meetings, given his role as a liaison between science and policy within the Platform.
On the guidelines for the nomination and selection of MEP members, discussions centered on whether nominations should be proposed only by members or also by observers. One member expressed support for allowing observers to submit nominations, but many delegates rejected this idea and said that only governments should do so. Some of these delegates stressed that IPBES member states could nevertheless consult with stakeholders as part of their nomination processes if they so desired, with one of them suggesting that observers submit nominations through governments, rather than through the Secretariat.
Delegates considered a Co-Chairs’ non-paper on MEP member nomination. Proposed elements in the non-paper included provisions on, inter alia: gender and disciplinary balance in regional nominations; Bureau involvement in assisting IPBES national focal points to create lists of potential MEP members and in reviewing lists of potential members and advising each region on gender and disciplinary balance; and inter-regional consultations to ensure a balanced MEP. One delegate supported that the MEP and the Plenary, but not the Bureau, review the regional lists of potential MEP members. Another suggested that the Bureau only “advise” the regions, based on agreed selection criteria. Opposing these views, other delegates stated that the Bureau should review the regional lists. One delegate further highlighted potential conflicts of interest if the MEP is mandated to review the lists of its own future members. Delegates finally agreed that only governments would nominate and select MEP experts, as part of a compromise package that included stakeholder involvement in the nomination of experts who will prepare the Platform’s deliverables.
In Saturday’s plenary, delegates considered a draft decision on amendments to the rules of procedure for the Plenary of the Platform with respect to rules governing the MEP. Ethiopia supported text stating that the MEP “may also invite” the UN collaborative partnership arrangement parties to participate as observers in MEP meetings, which remained in brackets pending the decision on institutional arrangements. The US opposed, stressing the need to ensure that those invited to MEP meetings would contribute to its scientific and technical discussions. Noting that the text provided for participation of scientific experts of relevant MEAs, Brazil suggested that the MEP invite collaborative arrangement partners “as appropriate.” Mexico suggested inviting “experts” from the partners of the arrangement to participate, as appropriate. The decision was adopted as amended.
Final Decisions: In the decision on amendments to the rules of procedure for the IPBES Plenary with respect to rules governing the MEP (IPBES/2/CRP.16), the Plenary amends rules 25-28 of its rules of procedure stating, inter alia, that:
- MEP membership will be based on equal representation of five participants nominated by each of the five UN regions;
- the MEP Co-Chairs “may invite” the Bureau and experts of the UN collaborative arrangement partners to participate as observers, as appropriate;
- MEP candidates will be proposed by Platform members for nomination by the regions and election by the Plenary;
- taking into account disciplinary and gender balance, each region will nominate five candidates for membership of the Panel; and
- MEP members will be elected by the Plenary by consensus, unless the Plenary decides otherwise.
In the decision on the MEP (IPBES/2/CRP.7/Rev.1), the Plenary, inter alia:
- reiterates the need to ensure that the MEP reflects regional, gender and disciplinary balance;
- emphasizes that the final choice of the nominees of each regional group is that group’s responsibility;
- urges the regional groups to engage with their Bureau members, “as appropriate,” to facilitate discussions within and across the regions, so as to ensure a balanced MEP;
- encourages regional groups to solicit MEP candidate nominations from the widest range of stakeholders;
- encourages each regional group to consider nominating one to three current Panel members for a further term to ensure continuity within the Panel; and
- requests the MEP and the Bureau to assess the functionality of the UN regional structure.
PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT REPORTS AND OTHER IPBES’ DELIVERABLES: This agenda item was addressed on Tuesday in plenary and further discussed in the contact group on rules and procedures. On Saturday, delegates adopted a decision on procedures for the preparation of the Platform’s deliverables.
On Tuesday, MEP Co-Chair Mark Lonsdale introduced draft procedures for preparing the Platform’s deliverables (IPBES/2/9), noting that adopting rigorous procedures is key to ensuring high-quality IPBES products. He said three approaches for deliverables were proposed: a standard approach; a fast-track approach that should be completed in one year; and an approach for regional, subregional, eco-regional and global assessments. He suggested that the Plenary request the MEP and the Bureau to review and report back at IPBES-3 on whether additional procedures might be necessary.
In the ensuing discussion, the EU IPBES members stressed the importance of criteria and transparency for selecting experts and sought clarification on the roles of the MEP and the Bureau. Kenya, for the African Group, said that a transparent, time-bound delivery process was critical. Ethiopia proposed deleting references to “eco-regional” assessments, stressing that these had not been agreed. GRULAC called for simplifying the clearance of documents and clarifying the nomination process. Bolivia suggested taking ILCs’ knowledge into account. The Russian Federation emphasized the intergovernmental nature of the process with respect to: elaborating on and adopting deliverables; the correction of errors; and reconciling different opinions. ICSU suggested web-based outsourcing platforms to facilitate expert involvement. IUCN highlighted the need to provide a single compendium of rules.
In the contact group, delegates reviewed, section by section, the draft procedures. Key issues discussed included the nomination of experts for deliverables. Developing country participants supported that only governments submit nominations, with the selection of experts being carried out by the MEP, while several developed countries supported providing the opportunity to a wide range of stakeholders to nominate experts. Interested delegations convened in a small group and produced a compromise solution that was then agreed to by the contact group. The compromise text provides that: both governments and “relevant stakeholders” will be involved in the nomination of experts; and the MEP will select experts from the lists of nominations, with no more than 20% of the experts being nominated by “relevant stakeholders.” “Relevant stakeholders” are defined in a footnote and make reference to qualified and renowned scientific organizations and institutions, including experts on indigenous and local knowledge on issues related to the Platform’s functions and work programme.
Regarding fast track assessment procedures, one participant objected to the notion of fast track assessments, stressing that the quality of the Platform’s products could be compromised. Others said that a process for fast track assessments is needed, noting that IPBES-2 is expected to launch one such assessment on pollination in the near future. As a compromise, one delegate proposed that two reviews be undertaken to ensure the quality of the fast track assessments. An MEP member said that conducting two thorough reviews in a short period of time is perhaps unfeasible, and proposed that a higher number of reviewers could be engaged in an intense, single round of reviews. This proposal received considerable support, and it was eventually agreed that the Plenary, based on MEP advice, may decide that a fast track approach involving a “robust” review procedure is appropriate.
On acceptance of reports by the Plenary, delegates discussed whether a reference to that acceptance being “by consensus” should be included in the text. A number of delegations supported the reference, stressing that this was consistent with the rules of procedure. Another delegation opposed the reference, suggesting leaving the reference in brackets for future discussion. In response to a concern on how the Plenary should proceed in cases of divergence of views, Co-Chair Sierralta said that the Platform could decide by consensus to reflect divergent views in Platform reports. After consultations, a statement that “acceptance, adoption and approval” are done “by consensus, consistent with” the rules of procedure was incorporated, but reference to acceptance, adoption and approval remained in brackets, as is the section on clearance processes.
On approval of summaries for policymakers, it was agreed that comments by governments on revised drafts should be submitted to “designated national focal points,” and to include a footnote that diplomatic missions would receive the draft in cases where countries have not yet established a focal point. It was also agreed that Platform regional members would review regional summaries relevant to their region prior to consideration by the Plenary. Delegates then reviewed Annex I on tasks and responsibilities of report co-chairs, lead authors and review editors, which was agreed with minor amendments, including a reference to lead authors’ responsibilities to ensure that reports are completed to “the highest scientific” standard.
On the nomination and selection of experts for task forces, at the suggestion of several developing country delegates, the group agreed that the process should be more flexible than the procedures used for other experts, and that: nominations be proposed from both governments and relevant stakeholders and selection of experts be made by both the MEP “and the Bureau,” with no percentage limits for selection of stakeholder-nominated experts.
Final Decision: In the decision on procedures for preparing the Platform’s deliverables (IPBES/2/CRP.19), the Plenary adopts the procedures set out in the annex, which contains outstanding text in various sections. The draft procedures contain sections on, inter alia:
- definitions of terms used in the document, including a section on “clearance processes” that contains a bracketed reference to “validation, acceptance, adoption and approval” stating that these are done by consensus, in accordance with the rules of procedure;
- procedures for the preparation of the Platform’s deliverables, which include: a standard approach for thematic or methodological assessments; a fast-track approach for thematic or methodological assessments; and an approach for regional, subregional or global assessments;
- general procedures for preparing Platform reports, including procedures for selection of report co-chairs, coordinating lead authors, lead authors and reviewers;
- preparing and approving summaries for policymakers; and
- tasks and responsibilities for, inter alia, report co-chairs, lead authors, review editors and expert reviewers of Platform deliverables, set out in Annex I to the decision.
ADMISSION OF OBSERVERS: This issue (IPBES/2/10) was briefly addressed in plenary on Tuesday. Due to lack of time to adequately consider the issue, on Saturday delegates agreed to reflect in the report that the same procedure for the admission of observers that was used at this session will be followed at IPBES-3.
On Tuesday, stressing the need for rules to encourage broad participation while ensuring appropriate expertise and qualifications, China, supported by GRULAC, proposed that decisions on the admittance of observers be made by consensus. Gabon, for the African Group, supported the proposed procedures. The EU IPBES members said that the Plenary should have the right to grant and suspend the status of observers.
During Saturday’s plenary, Argentina and China requested that member states be provided more information on potential observers for IPBES-3 than had been provided with regard to observers for the previous meetings. China stressed the need to ensure that in IPBES-3 more time is allocated to this agenda item, expressing concern about the prospect that observers might outnumber member states’ representatives.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY: On Tuesday, MEP Co-Chair Lonsdale presented a draft conflict of interest policy (IPBES/2/11), noting that the policy: provides principles to identify and manage conflicts; differentiates conflicts of interest from bias; and proposes that a committee of Bureau members from each region and an additional member with legal expertise oversee its implementation. The Democratic Republic of Congo, for the African Group, and the EU suggested minor amendments to the draft. Argentina queried if the UN Office of Legal Affairs or another legal office had reviewed the draft policy and if it would apply to strategic partners. With Canada and the US, she wondered whether the ethics committee should be external to ensure impartiality. Brazil and Argentina requested clarification on the definition of conflicts of interest. The US cautioned that excessively onerous rules could deter participation by competent experts, and supported developing interim rules. Due to lack of time no decision was adopted on this issue.
COMMUNICATIONS AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
This agenda item (IPBES/2/12, 13 and 14), was addressed by the Plenary on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Saturday, Plenary considered a draft decision on the communications and outreach strategy, which was adopted with a number of amendments. Due to lack of time to consider the agenda sub-items, delegates agreed that these issues will be taken up at future sessions of the Plenary.
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH STRATEGY: On Wednesday, many delegates supported adopting the draft communications and outreach strategy, and many also provided suggestions for amendments. Thailand supported monitoring the use of IPBES information by the media. Pakistan called for recognizing the role of the scientific community in the communications strategy. Colombia, supported by Bolivia, suggested adding specific references to different knowledge systems. The Asia-Pacific Group urged building on existing initiatives to avoid duplication of work. Ethiopia proposed establishing an easily accessible clearinghouse mechanism to make relevant materials available. The UK noted the need to clarify the communications strategy’s implementation modalities. The Netherlands stressed the need to focus on delivering products that will have an impact on society and not only to biodiversity decision-makers. Uruguay highlighted the need to reach out to financial fora and trade organizations. The Plenary then endorsed the IPBES logo.
During the closing plenary, delegates agreed that, given time constraints that did not allow for in-depth discussions on the issue, the draft communications and outreach strategy will be further considered at IPBES-3.
Final Decision: In the IPBES final decision on communications and outreach (IPBES/2/CRP.5), the Plenary requests the Secretariat, under the supervision of the Bureau and in cooperation with the MEP, to prepare a draft communications and outreach strategy for consideration by IPBES-3; and adopts the Platform logo as contained in document IPBES/2/12.
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY: On Wednesday, the Asia-Pacific Group said that the Plenary must clearly define the coordination and development of a mechanism to engage with stakeholders. Switzerland, with the UK and Finland, supported establishing a forum to engage with stakeholders. Sweden supported the possible nomination of experts for assessments by stakeholders. IUCN, also on behalf of ICSU, recalled that the strategy was developed with the goal of implementing the IPBES programme of work and provides for an inclusive definition of stakeholders. On behalf of participants at the Stakeholders’ Days, she said stakeholders hoped that the Plenary would adopt a strategy that defines them as “partners” rather than “stakeholders” and involve them in all relevant work of the Platform. The Society for Conservation Biology suggested that IPBES make use of existing expertise and organizations and supported stakeholder participation in the nomination of experts. The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IIFBES) said indigenous peoples and local communities are essential Platform partners. She recommended: that the strategy recognize the diversity of groups collaborating with the Platform and the uniqueness of their knowledge; and establishing an IPBES voluntary fund for ILC participation. The European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology supported the strategy as a basis for efficient collaboration with scientists and other knowledge holders.
In Saturday’s plenary, delegates agreed that, due to lack of time, the issue will be further taken up at future sessions of the Plenary.
GUIDANCE ON STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: On Wednesday, the Asia-Pacific Group said that partnerships should go beyond engaging with the UN system and MEAs. Switzerland suggested that MEA Secretariats be assigned specific speaking slots in the Plenary. He said that the active involvement of the four sponsoring partners, UNEP, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and FAO, could enable the participation of a broad range of stakeholders. Argentina indicated that partnerships could be decided on a case-by-case basis. The CBD called for avoiding inconsistencies in the procedures established for involving MEAs and their subsidiary bodies when prioritizing requests that are submitted to IPBES. He highlighted ongoing work to explore the best means to collaborate with IPBES, including in the Biodiversity Liaison Group. CITES said MEAs should be full partners of IPBES. The UNCCD wondered how inputs from scientific subsidiary bodies will be integrated into IPBES’ work.
On Saturday, delegates agreed that, due to lack of time, the issue will be further taken up at future sessions of the Plenary.
INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: UN COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PLATFORM’S WORK
On Wednesday, FAO introduced a draft collaborative partnership arrangement to establish an institutional link between IPBES and FAO, UNESCO, UNEP and UNDP (IPBES/2/15) and a related information note on the anticipated contributions of these four UN entities to IPBES (IPBES/2/INF/3). He said that while cross-sectoral collaboration could at times be challenging, it is essential for the credibility and effectiveness of IPBES.
While expressing support for strong collaboration between IPBES and UN agencies, the 18 EU IPBES members, the US and Brazil urged revising several sections of the proposed arrangement. Stressing that the arrangement was currently drafted as a legally-binding instrument, the UK supported a more informal partnership and, with the US, stressed that only UN agencies could sign the proposed arrangement because IPBES has no international legal personality. The UK, with the US and Brazil, opposed in particular a provision that gave the “right” to the four UN agencies to participate in the meetings of the Plenary, the MEP and other IPBES subsidiary bodies, suggesting that the agencies attend specific meetings by invitation. Mexico supported the proposed consultation process between IPBES and UN agencies to address any potential budgetary shortfalls in implementing IPBES activities.
On Saturday, Bureau Member Robert Watson introduced a revised version of the proposed arrangement based on comments made in plenary. Switzerland proposed that the filling of professional posts by UNEP in the IPBES Secretariat be done in consultation with the Platform’s Executive Secretary. The US proposed putting brackets around a paragraph requesting the IPBES Secretariat to make every effort to give the partners an opportunity to review documents solely authored by the Secretariat prior to publication, expressing concern that consultation could delay publication of documents that should be promptly available to governments. Noting that the paragraph proposed for deletion was in line with the minimum standards for use of its logo, the FAO said the request for review would apply to a very limited number of documents produced by the IPBES Secretariat. The US then proposed referring to “pre-session” documents to be reviewed “in a timely manner.” Mexico suggested adding “as appropriate,” stressing that only those documents that were relevant to the organization’s mandate would require review. The decision was adopted as amended.
Final Decision: In the decision on the collaborative partnership arrangement to establish an institutional link between the IPBES Plenary and UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP (IPBES/2/CRP.11), the Plenary approves the collaborative partnership arrangement, as contained in the annex to the decision; and invites UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP to approve the arrangement.
The arrangement provides that the partners, inter alia, intend to collaborate in the following areas:
- Implementation of the Platform’s work programme: the four organizations will contribute their expertise and experience; may undertake special tasks or activities, upon request by the IPBES Plenary; and provide support to regional structures that may be established by the Platform;
- Information exchange: the partners will consult on matters that are of direct relevance to the implementation of the Platform’s programme of work and review progress of joint or delegated tasks and planning of future activities, as appropriate; and the IPBES Secretariat will make every effort to give the opportunity to partners to review Platform pre-session documents prepared by the Secretariat prior to publication;
- Attendance at the Platform meetings: the organizations are invited to attend Platform Plenary meetings and may be invited to participate in meetings of subsidiary bodies;
- Visibility: the role and contribution of the organizations will be acknowledged in all public Platform information documentation and communication materials;
- Financial aspects: partners will consult on ways to obtain resources if delegation of special tasks by the Plenary to one or more of the organizations or of a joint activity entails expenditures that go beyond routine organizational expenditures; and
- Reporting: partners will provide regular reports to the Plenary and the governing bodies of the organizations on progress made in the implementation of the collaborative partnership arrangement and, where needed, seek further guidance and endorsement regarding new areas of cooperation.
On Saturday afternoon and evening, delegates met in plenary to consider draft decisions.
PROVISIONAL AGENDA AND FUTURE SESSIONS OF THE PLENARY: Chair Zakri said that the next IPBES Plenary would be held in Bonn, Germany, and that proposals for the session’s dates included early to mid-December 2014, as suggested by the Bureau, and January 2015. Delegates agreed to request the Bureau to further consider this issue.
REPORT OF THE SESSION: Chair Zakri invited delegates to adopt the report of the meeting, including a statement by France, for the UK and the Netherlands, to include overseas territories in assessment by the regions and subregions in which they are located (IPBES/2/L.1). Due to lack of time for completing consideration of the procedures for admission of observers, the Secretariat proposed to reflect in the report that the procedure adopted at the current session will also apply at IPBES-3 and that observers participating in previous and current sessions will be admitted to participate in IPBES-3. Delegates then adopted the report.
CLOSING STATEMENTS: Stressing that the IPBES-2 outcome is a “milestone” agreement that will operationalize IPBES, Turkey requested that it be known as the “Antalya consensus.” Lithuania, on behalf of the 18 EU IPBES members, said IPBES-2 had made excellent progress to establish the foundation for starting the Platform’s work. She added that solutions negotiated in Antalya open the way to transparent and inclusive work, including with regard to stakeholder engagement. The Asia-Pacific Group said the “Antalya Consensus” comprises an “excellent” set of decisions to operationalize the Platform’s work programme. He called for: effective capacity building; a process for assessing capacity-building needs tailored to each region; and intersessional consultations to advance discussion on possible regional hubs for implementation of the work programme.
The African Group praised the progress made over the week, particularly in the rules of procedure and the adoption of the work programme. He also noted the positive impact that IPBES will have in Africa, including in capacity building.
The Russian Federation, for Eastern Europe, said the decisions adopted in Antalya are essential for the progress of the Platform and will assist in sketching the future landscape for IPBES for 2014, 2015 and beyond.
GRULAC underscored the collaboration of stakeholders and governments as critical to the successful adoption of IPBES-2 decisions. He emphasized that the studies on sustainable use and invasive alien species agreed to in the programme of work are particularly important to his region.
The Ramsar Convention, for MEAs present at IPBES-2, outlined how the thematic assessments carried out under the programme of work will help the national efforts in achieving targets set under the MEAs, such as the Aichi Targets. He stated that MEAs are eager to strengthen their collaboration with IPBES and participate in the task forces and activities under the programme of work to achieve the four objectives of the Platform.
The European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy, on behalf of IPBES-2 stakeholders, welcomed the adoption of the conceptual framework but lamented that the stakeholder engagement strategy and guidance for strategic partnerships had not been adopted. He called for openness and flexibility to ensure the Platform’s success.
Commending the inclusion of diverse knowledge systems in the work programme, IIFBES urged a flexible approach to work with diverse knowledge holders and establishing a voluntary fund to ensure ILC participation in Platform meetings and activities.
Following closing statements, Chair Zakri said that the “Antalya Consensus” is a testimony of the power of collective ambition to face biodiversity challenges. He highlighted that now IPBES is “on its feet,” expressing hope that from now on “it will walk very fast.” He highlighted among key achievements: the adoption of the work programme, including consideration of capacity-building activities; a conceptual framework that recognizes and respects different knowledge systems; and the Platform’s rules and procedures that set the mechanism to operationalize the work programme. He thanked the government of Turkey for their warm hospitality and drew the meeting to a close at 7:37 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF IPBES-2
After a 10-month long consultative intersessional process, the second session of the IPBES Plenary was primed to get the nascent Platform off the ground and ensure it can live up to its potential. With an agenda widely considered to contain the building blocks of the IPBES—the draft work programme and conceptual framework, the stakeholder engagement strategy, rules and procedures and the budget—delegates focused on key issues that needed to be immediately decided upon for IPBES to go forward with its work. After a long week of negotiations, delegates adopted the necessary decisions, collectively referred to as the “Antalya Consensus,” to allow the immediate implementation of the Platform’s activities.
Against the backdrop of an ambitious work programme that has direct implications for international biodiversity governance, including the mid-term review of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, this analysis considers the implications of key decisions taken at IPBES-2.
AN AMBITIOUS FIRST WORK PROGRAMME
The five-year work programme adopted by the Plenary aims to address the four functions of the Platform, namely to strengthen: the capacity and knowledge foundations of the science-policy interface to implement key functions of the Platform; the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services at and across the subregional, regional and global levels; the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services with regard to thematic and methodological issues; and communicating and evaluating the Platform’s activities, deliverables and findings.
Given these objectives and the 2014-2018 time period for the implementation of the work programme, many recognized that a balance needed to be drawn between in-depth assessments and early results to demonstrate the Platform’s added value and credibility. In addition to the common desire to start delivering results and show that IPBES is finally “on its feet and ready to start walking,” delegates in Antalya recognized the need to produce quality, scientifically-rigorous products that are also “innovative” and include a wide spectrum of knowledge systems. The discussions on proposed assessments showed the difficulty of achieving this balance, but demonstrated that delegates were up to the task and ready to recognize that embracing indigenous and other knowledge systems is crucial for IPBES to demonstrate its “worth.”
In Antalya, delegates also spent a great deal of time ensuring that IPBES contributes to the current body of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services. With this in mind, the Plenary approved fast track assessments on pollination and pollinators associated with food production, and a scenario analysis and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services for review at its next session. However, this was not without debate. There was concern that activities on pollination and pollinators may not provide the “value added” that IPBES is striving to achieve, given that FAO has been particularly active in this area. Others, however, noted that by conducting meta-analyses on these key issues IPBES could provide an overview of key subjects in ways that are useful to policy-makers. Just as importantly, the decision to initiate scoping work for a thematic assessment on the sustainable use of biodiversity has true potential to ensure IPBES adds value to the existing body of knowledge on biodiversity by systematically integrating indigenous and local knowledge systems into its work. In this regard, IPBES can consolidate and validate different types of knowledge through the proposed broad-ranging iterative processes and rounds of review.
As with other international biodiversity-related efforts, resources are needed for implementation. Prioritizing which issues and assessments should be addressed first was a challenge. Concerns included that there may not be sufficient capacity within the scientific community to conduct studies and reviews should too many assessments be undertaken simultaneously. By staggering the expected dates of deliverables, delegates hope this will be avoided. Down the line, this concern should also be mitigated through the iterative process of capacity building and stakeholder engagement.
THE ROLE OF STAKEHOLDERS
IPBES has been billed as a new, novel organization modeled on what could be termed “IPCC 2.0.” It has a strong focus on capacity building and places great importance on stakeholder participation and engagement. This is evident from the inclusion of references to indigenous and local communities in key decisions as well as the creation of task forces for indigenous and local knowledge, and capacity building. There were mixed feelings, however, among some participants as to whether a sufficient degree of stakeholder engagement is likely to occur since the Plenary failed to complete its work on the stakeholder engagement strategy.
At the start of the Plenary session, stakeholders, particularly indigenous peoples and local communities and MEAs, were vocal in their requests to be engaged as “partners” rather than “stakeholders.” MEA Secretariats were also vocal in highlighting their potential contributions to IPBES and the important role they can play in implementation of the work programme.
At the close, some stakeholders expressed disappointment that their role was progressively reduced during the negotiations of the rules and procedures, particularly with regard to their possible participation in the MEP. There was also disappointment regarding the lack of discussion on the stakeholder engagement strategy. However, as one participant noted, this was not necessarily due to a lack of political will but rather an overly full agenda. This point was acknowledged when the Plenary decided that the stakeholder engagement strategy will be taken up again in future sessions.
FUNDING, CAPACITY AND INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
Funding and capacity remain central concerns for IPBES. This is heightened by the fact that since IPBES is a voluntary mechanism, it is reliant on pledges and in-kind contributions from members, observers and stakeholders. The costs to implement its ambitious work programme are high, approximately US$43.5 million. Already US$25.4 million has been pledged, signaling a strong commitment from those involved, but a large deficit remains. The pledges that were made are not sufficient to cover the costs of the work programme over the five-year period.
Given that the work programme is expected to be implemented starting in early 2014, a fully staffed Secretariat is crucial to allow for the completion of deliverables in a timely manner. The fact that the Secretariat still has vacancies was an area for concern amongst members. There are at least two in-kind pledges providing staff seconded from UNEP and IUCN, which will alleviate some of the financial burden. However, the capacity burden will remain if the recruitment process isn’t finished quickly.
The Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) are the two other bodies whose work is critical to the Platform’s success. The Bureau is the political body of the Platform, with representatives from the five UN regions. The MEP, the scientific body of IPBES, is made up of experts across the five regions participating in their personal capacities. Both have a key role to play in ensuring that the Platform effectively delivers as a credible interface between policy and science. In Antalya, some members wanted to ensure the MEP is independent from the Bureau to guarantee the body’s scientific independence and thereby underpin the quality and credibility of the Platform’s products. However, the composition of the MEP is potentially open to political influence, since the selection of MEP experts is the prerogative of the regions. While this will help ensure regional balance, it risks reproducing political tensions that are well known to other bodies, such as the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. Since IPBES will work at the interface of science and policy, this “political” problem could potentially surface on a regular basis.
ADDING VALUE OR “OLD WINE IN A NEW BOTTLE”?
The wide range of topics discussed and negotiated at IPBES-2 underscores the breadth and depth of the Platform and the potential impact it can have on biodiversity and ecosystem services policy in the future. The adopted decisions on the budget, the work programme and certain aspects of the rules and procedures showed the desire by many members to get the “IPBES show on the road.” The work programme, although ambitious, aims to add value to the current body of knowledge and has been structured according to member countries’ priorities. Taking concerns about “reinventing the wheel” into account, delegates addressed areas such as regional and subregional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services, which some felt had received little attention to date. They also focused on ensuring that there are policy-relevant tools for decision makers and create a process to enable science to be reflected in a way that can underpin policy formulation. Furthermore, the budget contains provisions for stakeholder involvement and engagement in the Platform. While the stakeholder engagement strategy is yet to be finalized, IPBES is taking the right steps to go beyond other existing fora by including language calling for stakeholder participation such as the possibility to submit nominations for the MEP.
Given these considerations and the strong attempt on the part of members and the interim Secretariat to ensure that IPBES’ deliverables add value to the current understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem services in terms of knowledge, inclusiveness and capacity, there was a collective feeling at the closing session that IPBES-2 has set the Platform on “the right path.” The challenge for the future will be for IPBES to deliver policy-relevant, persuasive, high-quality, science-based and innovative deliverables and tools to tackle the key drivers of biodiversity loss and promote its conservation in a timely manner.
Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-X) & Geneva Ministerial Summit: The GEO-X Plenary Session will precede the 2014 GEO Geneva Ministerial Summit on 13 January. Membership in GEO is open to all member states of the UN and to the European Commission. Membership is contingent upon formal endorsement of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan, and all members belong to a regional caucus. dates: 14-17 January 2014 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: GEO Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8505 fax: +41-22-730-8520 email: [email protected] www: http://www.earthobservations.org/meet_sum.shtml
WIPO IGC 26: The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) will address genetic resources and is expected to be preceded by an Ambassadorial/Senior Capital-Based Officials meeting to share views on key policy issues relating to the negotiations to further inform and guide the process. dates: 3-7 February 2014 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: WIPO Secretariat phone: +41-22-338-9111 fax: +41-22-733-5428 www: http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/tk/en/igc/pdf/igc_schedule_2014.pdf
ICNP 3: The third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the CBD is expected to address, inter alia, issues related to compliance, a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism, the ABS clearing-house, and monitoring and reporting, and will exchange views on the state of implementation of the Protocol as well as on sectoral and cross-sectoral model contractual clauses, codes of conduct and guidelines. dates: 24-28 February 2014 location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=ICNP-03
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction: The seventh meeting of the General Assembly’s working group on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction will take place in April. dates: 1-4 April 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea email: [email protected] www: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm
27th Meeting of the CITES Animal Committee (AC), 21st Meeting of the CITES PC and Joint AC/PC Session: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Animals Committee (CITES AC) will hold its 27th meeting in Veracruz, Mexico, back-to-back with the 21st meeting of the CITES Plants Committee (CITES PC) and will include a two-day long joint session. The AC will meet from 28 April - 1 May 2014; the CITES AC/PC session will be held from 2-3 May 2014; and the CITES PC will meet from 4-8 May 2014. dates: 28 April - 8 May 2014 location: Veracruz, Mexico contact: Yuan Liu, CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8139 fax: +41-22-797-3417 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/calendar.php
WIPO IGC 27: At its twenty-seventh meeting, the IGC is expected to hold a 10-day text-based negotiating session focusing on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. dates: April 2014 (exact dates TBC) location: TBC contact: WIPO Secretariat phone: +41-22-338-9111 fax: +41-22-733-5428 www: http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/tk/en/igc/pdf/igc_schedule_2014.pdf
UNPFII 13: The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will hold its 13th session in May 2014 under the theme “Principles of good governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Articles 3 to 6 and 46(3).” dates: 12-23 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Nilla Bernardi phone: +1-212-963-8379 fax: +1-917-367-5102 email: [email protected] www: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples.aspx
2014 International Day for Biological Diversity: Coinciding with the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2014 will be “Island Biodiversity.” date: 22 May 2014 location: worldwide contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2013/ntf-2013-094-idb-en.pdf
46th GEF Council Meeting and Fifth GEF Assembly: The fifth Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly will be held back-to-back with the 46th GEF Council meeting in Mexico. The CSO Consultation, GEF Council and LDCF/SCCF Council Meetings will convene from 25-27 May, with the Council meeting beginning on 25 May and overlapping for half a day, on 27 May, with the CSO Consultation. The Assembly will convene from 28-30 May. dates: 25-30 May 2014 location: Cancun, Mexico contact: GEF Secretariat phone: +1-202-473-0508 fax: +1-202-522-3240/3245 email: [email protected] www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/calendar-date/2014-05
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction: The eighth meeting of the General Assembly’s working group on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction will take place in June. dates: 16-19 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea email: [email protected] www: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm
CBD WGRI 5: At its fifth meeting, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Working Group on Review of Implementation is expected to address, among other issues, implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy, the efficiency of structures and processes under the Convention and its protocols, and biodiversity and development. dates: 16-20 June 2014 (tentative) location: Montreal, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
UN Environmental Assembly of UNEP: The next meeting of the UN Environmental Assembly of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which has replaced the UNEP Governing Council, is tentatively scheduled for June 2014. dates: 23-27 June 2014 (tentative) location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jamil Ahmad, Secretary of Governing Bodies, UNEP phone: +254-20-7623431 email: u[email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/
SBSTTA 18: At its eighteenth meeting, SBSTTA is expected to address, inter alia, issues related to marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change, and its relationship with IPBES. dates: 23-27 June 2014 (tentative) location: Montreal, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
Seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: MOP 7 will include a special session on implementation in which parties will exchange experiences and challenges in the implementation of the Protocol, focusing on the integration of biosafety into national development plans and programmes. dates: 29 September - 3 October 2014 location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=MOP-07
CBD COP 12: The 12th meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties is expected to conduct a mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi targets. dates: 6-17 October 2014 location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=COP-12
Nagoya Protocol COP/MOP 1: Depending on entry into force, the first Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on ABS will be held concurrently with CBD COP 12. dates: 6-17 October 2014 location: Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings
IUCN World Parks Congress 2014: The sixth IUCN World Parks Congress will serve as a vital link to achieving IUCN’s overall vision of a “just world that values and conserves nature” and deliver the IUCN Programme 2013-2106. dates: 12-19 November 2014 location: Sydney, Australia contact: Conference Secretariat phone: +61-2-9254-5000 fax: +61-2-9251-3552 email: [email protected] www: http://worldparkscongress.org/
CMS COP 11: Ecuador will host the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species in November 2014, marking the first time that a CMS COP is held in Latin America. date: first half of November 2014 location: Guayaquil, Ecuador contact: Veronika Lenarz phone: +49-228-815-2401 fax: +49-228-815-2449 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cms.int/
Global Soil Biodiversity Conference: The first Global Soil Biodiversity Conference aims to synthesize and incorporate the scientific knowledge on the provision of vital ecosystem services by soil biodiversity into management and policy plans. Discussions will also take place on: discovery and observation; tracking and monitoring; assessing the pressures and threats; and extending the knowledge base. dates: 2-5 December 2014 location: Dijon, France contact: Secretariat email: [email protected] www: https://colloque.inra.fr/gsbi1
CGRFA 15: The 15th Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA 15) is expected to convene in 2015. The Commission aims to reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use. dates: 19-23 January 2015 location: Rome, Italy contact: FAO Secretariat phone: +39-06-5705-4981 fax: +39-06-5705-5246 email: [email protected] www: http://www.fao.org/nr/cgrfa/cgrfa-meetings/en/
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction: The ninth meeting of the General Assembly’s working group on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction will take place in 2015. dates: 20-23 January 2015 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea email: [email protected] www: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm
Ramsar COP 12: The 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 12) will take place in the first half of 2015. date: May-June 2015 location: Punta del Este, Uruguay contact: Ramsar Secretariat phone: +41-22-999-0170 fax: +41-22-999-0169 email: [email protected] www: http://www.ramsar.org/
IPBES-3: The third session of the Plenary of IPBES will take place in mid-December 2014 or January 2015 location: Bonn, Germany contact: IPBES Secretariat email: [email protected] www: http://www.ipbes.net