Unlike the entire week, which saw many ups and downs during marathon negotiations, the last day of IPBES-9 was uneventful. Delegates moved swiftly through the meeting’s agenda, approving the summary for policymakers and accepting the individual chapters of the methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services (values assessment), and adopting all remaining decisions.
The values assessment was expected with great interest by the biodiversity community. In the words of Co-Chair Patricia Balvanera during the first author meeting in 2018 in Mexico City: “We all value nature in very different and sometimes conflicting ways. Nature can be seen as a provider of food or water, as a regulator of climate, as part of our heritage or our identity, or as our home and that of life on earth. Assessing this diversity of values and how they are incorporated into decision making will contribute to addressing conflicts over nature and promoting more equitable decisions.”
In her closing remarks, following the SPM’s approval, she underscored the “privilege to serve this platform and all the countries,” and recalled the memorable experiences and deep insights from a fantastic team journey, beginning with a first call in 2014 until the report’s approval. She dedicated all these efforts to the peoples, species, and entities who are affected by decisions on nature and whose values are not considered.
Other than the values assessment’s approval, the plenary approved the scoping report for a methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people. It further adopted relevant decisions on the deliverables of IPBES’ rolling work programme up to 2030, including the work plans for the intersessional period 2022-2023 for the task forces on: capacity building; knowledge and data; Indigenous and local knowledge; policy tools and methodologies; and scenarios and models.
“You probably feel like you have been hit by a truck, it is normal…once you recover you will feel a sense of achievement and will be proud for your work.” IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie was spot on in her closing remarks. Exhausted delegates looked forward to getting some rest before getting back to work to ensure the assessments’ uptake by policymakers and make progress in the intersessional work of the Platform under its rolling work programme, to come back reinvigorated for their rendezvous at IPBES-10 to be held in April/May 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin, US.