Summary report, 2–9 July 2022
9th Session of the IPBES Plenary and Stakeholder Day
Biodiversity loss is increasingly recognized as one of the most pressing challenges of our times as it threatens our own survival. In the words of E.O. Wilson, “This is the assembly of life that took a billion years to evolve. It has eaten the storms—folded them into its genes—and created the world that created us. It holds the world steady.”
The urgency to address the biodiversity crisis is increasingly visible on the global environmental agenda. The work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on the science-policy interface is also gaining traction, mainly due to the publication of high-profile, high-quality, comprehensive, and thorough assessments on a variety of biodiversity-related topics. The ninth session of the IPBES Plenary (IPBES-9) continued this trend by adopting two new assessments and laying the foundation for future work under the Platform’s Rolling Work Programme up to 2030 and its task forces.
Highlights of the meeting included approval of:
- the summary for policymakers (SPM) and acceptance of the individual chapters of the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species (sustainable use assessment);
- the SPM and acceptance of the individual chapters of the methodological assessment of the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services (values assessment);
- the scoping report for a methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people (business and biodiversity assessment); and
- the work programme deliverables and work plans of the five IPBES task forces for the intersessional period 2022-2023.
Negotiations were difficult and lengthy on both assessments and the scoping report. Members skipped lunch breaks and worked into the night throughout the week to reach common ground on contentious items, a clear sign of their devotion and resilience. As IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie noted during the closing plenary, addressing exhausted delegates, “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 of your work.”
The vast majority of IPBES-9 participants agreed with those remarks. Despite fatigue, they noted that the sustainable use assessment offers a comprehensive analysis of sustainable use of wild species, unlike any other in history. In the words of John Donaldson, one of the assessment’s co-chairs: “We used to work in silos; this time we worked together to get the big picture and ended up with a picture much bigger than we ever thought.”
The values assessment was anticipated with great interest by the biodiversity community. In the words of Co-Chair Patricia Balvanera, “Given that human societies value nature in very different and sometimes conflicting ways, 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.”
The scoping report for the business and biodiversity assessment sets the stage for a long-awaited assessment because, as most in the biodiversity community underscore, unless the impacts and dependencies of business on biodiversity are fully taken into account, the biodiversity crisis cannot be comprehensively addressed.
IPBES-9 was held in Bonn, Germany from 3-9 July 2022. It was preceded by the IPBES-9 Stakeholder Day, which took place on 2 July. Participants attending the meeting represented more than 100 IPBES members as well as non-member governments, UN agencies and convention secretariats, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and stakeholder groups.
A Brief History of IPBES
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is an independent, intergovernmental body established in 2012 to provide evidence-based, objective, and policy-relevant information to decision makers regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and the benefits they provide to people. The Platform’s work is divided into four functions:
- developing assessments on specific themes or methodological issues at global and regional scales;
- providing policy support through the development of tools and methodologies, and facilitating their use;
- building the capacity and knowledge of members; and
- ensuring impact through an effective communication and outreach strategy.
The Platform’s main governing body is the IPBES Plenary composed of representatives of members. Non-member states, UN organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other organizations can attend as observers. The work of the Plenary is supported by the Bureau overseeing the Platform’s administrative functions, and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) overseeing the Platform’s scientific and technical functions. To date, the Platform has 139 Member States.
Stakeholder Days have been organized prior to every session of the IPBES Plenary to continue to provide a forum for stakeholder engagement. Stakeholder Days bring together stakeholders from scientific organizations, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), and civil society to receive updates about the work and intersessional activities of IPBES, exchange views regarding the issues on the agenda, and coordinate general statements and positions on specific issues.
Key Turning Points
IPBES was established as a result of a consultative process initiated in response to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), the first state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the conditions and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide, which was conducted from 2001 to 2005. In January 2005, the Paris Conference on Biodiversity, Science and Governance proposed to initiate consultations to assess the need, scope, and possible form of an international mechanism of scientific expertise on biodiversity as part of the MA follow-up process.
IMoSEB Process: Supported by the Government of France, the consultative process on an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) was conducted through an International Steering Committee and a series of regional consultations from 2005 to 2007. At its final meeting in November 2007, the Steering Committee invited donors and governments to provide support for the further consideration of the establishment of a science-policy interface. It also invited the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and others to convene a meeting to consider establishing such an interface.
Following this invitation, stakeholders also agreed that the follow-up to the IMoSEB process and the MA follow-up process initiated under UNEP in 2007 should merge. A joint meeting took place in March 2008 to develop a common approach. In the same year, the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 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 meeting’s outcomes.
Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Multi-Stakeholder Process: From 2008 to 2010, the establishment of a science-policy interface was further discussed in a series of Ad hoc Intergovernmental Multi-Stakeholder Meetings. The first meeting (November 2008, Putrajaya, Malaysia) recommended UNEP undertake a preliminary gap analysis on existing interfaces. Based on this analysis, the second meeting (October 2009, Nairobi, Kenya) developed options to strengthen the science-policy interface, and functions and possible governance structures of an IPBES. At the third meeting (June 2010, Busan, Republic of Korea), delegates adopted the Busan Outcome, which recommended inviting the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to take appropriate action for establishing an IPBES. The 65th session of the UNGA (December 2010) requested UNEP to fully operationalize the platform and convene a plenary meeting to determine the modalities and institutional arrangements of the platform at the earliest opportunity. The 26th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (February 2011, Nairobi, Kenya) also called for convening a plenary session for an IPBES.
Plenary for an IPBES: The modalities and institutional arrangements of IPBES were negotiated at two sessions of an intergovernmental “Plenary for an IPBES,” established as an interim body. At the first session (October 2011, Nairobi, Kenya), delegates considered the platform’s functions and operating principles, work programme, and legal issues relating to its establishment and operationalization. At the second session (April 2012, Panama City, Panama), delegates considered functions and structures of bodies that might be established under the platform, rules of procedure, and the platform’s work programme. Delegates selected Bonn, Germany, as the physical location of the IPBES Secretariat and adopted a resolution formally establishing IPBES.
Antalya Consensus: The first two sessions of the IPBES Plenary (January 2013, Bonn, Germany, and December 2013, Antalya, Turkey) focused on developing the Platform’s structure and processes. IPBES-2 adopted the Antalya Consensus, which included decisions on the development of a work programme for 2014-2018. Delegates also adopted a conceptual framework considering different knowledge systems, and rules and procedures for the Platform on, inter alia, the preparation of the Platform’s assessments and other deliverables.
First Work Programme: The first IPBES work programme (2014-2018) was adopted at the Platform’s third Plenary session (January 2015, Bonn, Germany) together with the stakeholder engagement strategy, a communication and outreach strategy, and the Platform’s rules of procedure. With these decisions, IPBES became fully operational and able to initiate its first assessments.
The following assessments were produced during the first work programme:
- Thematic Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination, and Food Production (IPBES-4, February 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia);
- Methodological Assessment on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-4);
- Regional Assessments of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, and Central Europe and Asia (IPBES-6, March 2018, Medellín, Colombia);
- Assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration (IPBES-6); and
- the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7, May 2019, Paris, France).
Other outputs produced by the Platform during the first work programme included:
- the IPBES Capacity-building Rolling Plan;
- a Guide to the Production of Assessments;
- a Catalogue of Policy Support Tools and Methodologies, Experts, and Partners; and
- a Communication and Outreach Strategy.
Rolling Work Programme: The IPBES’ Rolling Work Programme up to 2030 (RWP) was adopted at the Platform’s seventh Plenary session (May 2019, Paris, France). It includes new assessments on: the nexus between biodiversity and water, food, and health; the determinants of transformative change; the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity; and a technical report on biodiversity and climate change intended to be prepared jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
IPBES-5: The fifth session of the IPBES Plenary (6-10 March 2017, Bonn, Germany) adopted decisions on, inter alia: capacity building; policy support tools and methodologies; the development of a second work programme; Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK); the scoping report for a thematic assessment on the sustainable use of wild species; review of the Platform; and the budget. The meeting was dominated by discussions around the budget and related concerns on whether three pending assessments in the Platform’s first work programme could be initiated and, if so, in what order, and whether funds would be sufficient to initiate all three. Delegates decided to prioritize the completion of ongoing assessments and to postpone initiation of new assessments until IPBES-6.
IPBES-6: At its sixth session (17-24 March 2018, Medellín, Colombia), IPBES approved four regional assessments and the assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration. The meeting also adopted: a decision on implementation of the first work programme, including the initiation of work on two new assessments in 2018 on the sustainable use of wild species, and on tools and methodologies regarding multiple values of biodiversity to human societies; the initiation of an assessment on invasive alien species in 2019; and a decision on the development of a strategic framework up to 2030 and elements of a rolling work programme.
IPBES-7: At its seventh session (29 April-4 May 2019, Paris, France) IPBES approved the SPM and accepted the chapters of the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the first intergovernmental global assessment of this kind and the first comprehensive assessment since the MA released in 2005. IPBES-7 further adopted the IPBES rolling work programme up to 2030.
IPBES-8: At its eighth session (14-24 June 2021, online), IPBES approved the scoping reports for thematic assessments of: the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessment); and the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, determinants of transformative change, and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (transformative change assessment). IPBES-8 further approved the interim work plans of the five IPBES task forces for the intersessional period 2021-2022.
The ninth Plenary of IPBES opened on Sunday, 3 July 2022. It was preceded by the IPBES Stakeholder Day on 2 July, which provided an opportunity for non-governmental stakeholders to present their activities to support IPBES and discuss their engagement in the Platform. Deliberations were mainly conducted under two Working Groups. Working Group 1 (WG1) was co-chaired by Douglas Beard (Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG)) and Sebsebe Demissew Woodmatas (African Group). WG2 was co-chaired by Julia Marton-Lefèvre (WEOG) and Floyd Homer (Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)).
IPBES-9 opened on Sunday morning with a youth choir performing opera classics. Participants watched a video on the importance of IPBES and its contributions to science and policymaking.
IPBES Chair Ana María Hernández Salgar opened the session. Via video message, Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, speaking on behalf of the four IPBES partners (UNEP, UN Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)), noted the fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) welcomed the findings of IPBES assessments, stressing the need to halt and reverse biodiversity decline. She said IPBES needs to: find a workable balance between assessments and uptake; provide underpinnings for business and support the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures; and continue interagency collaboration.
Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Executive Secretary, recalled that 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of IPBES. She said from the outset the Platform adopted an innovative, ambitious framework, publishing comprehensive assessments informed by diverse knowledge systems. She provided an overview of achievements thus far and said achieving global development goals can be informed by IPBES assessments.
Chair Hernández, quoting Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú, stressed that as long as poverty, racism, discrimination, and exclusion exist, it will be difficult to achieve a world of peace. She emphasized that “our focus goes beyond data generation, it is about intercultural and interscientific dialogues based on solid evidence and transparency.” She further highlighted that work during the COVID-19 pandemic is testament to the resilience, ingenuity, and adaptability of the IPBES community.
The Czech Republic, for the EU, underscored that IPBES is a highly regarded source of information on the worrying state of world biodiversity. He noted that IPBES deliverables will be crucial for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) and highlighted the Platform’s role as a bridge between science and policy. He drew attention to the interdependence of the biodiversity and climate crises, and expressed full solidarity with Ukraine.
Colombia, for GRULAC, emphasized the assessments on sustainable use of wild species and values will be of great importance for stakeholders and decision makers. She noted the need to fully understand the interlinkages between sustainable use, and the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, bridging the gap between science and policy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, on behalf of EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA, said particular focus should be given to the sustainable use and values assessments, the scoping report on business and biodiversity, and engagement with the IPCC. He emphasized the importance of knowledge services and skills exchange, particularly regional capacity building.
Senegal, for the AFRICAN GROUP, welcomed the IPBES rolling work programme up to 2030 and the SPM on the sustainable use assessment, including the revised definition of “sustainable use” in the Chair’s note. On the values assessment, he called for further clarification of the SPM to enable use by decision makers unfamiliar with nature valuation. He also called for a dedicated assessment on biodiversity and pandemics.
Bangladesh, for ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, expressed hope that the sustainable use and values assessments will enhance action on improving sustainability and integrating conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in his region. He stressed the need to enhance capacity, especially of national focal points, and that nature conservation and wildlife, and habitat protection are critical to prevent future pandemics.
The US highlighted the meeting’s importance and, speaking also on behalf of AUSTRALIA, CANADA, ICELAND, ISRAEL, JAPAN, MONACO, NORWAY, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, SWITZERLAND, the UK, and NEW ZEALAND (JUSSCANNZ), condemned the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, calling upon the Russian Federation to abide by international law.
Ivonne Higuero, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), on behalf of biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), highlighted the relevance of past assessments and the work under consideration at IPBES-9 for other MEAs. Pointing to upcoming meetings of the governing bodies of several MEAs, she said that IPBES’ timely assessments will strengthen the work of these bodies.
The OPEN-ENDED NETWORK OF IPBES STAKEHOLDERS (ONet) urged recognizing stakeholder contributions, increasing relevant financial support, and continuing to expand IPBES’ commitment to inclusivity and diversity. She called for harmonizing the future implementation of the RWP with the GBF and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES called for further improving spaces in IPBES for IPLCs’ contributions. Pointing to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, she stressed the need to recognize the limitations of expressing Indigenous values in languages privileged by the current system.
In the afternoon, Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, GERMANY, welcomed delegates, inviting them to “send a message for peaceful coexistence and for multilateralism.” She highlighted the new Nature for Health Trust Fund to support the shift from nature destruction to nature restoration. Ursula Sautter, Deputy Mayor of Bonn, said biodiversity is about our societies, economies, health and well-being, and organizations such as IPBES are showing us the way to a better understanding of, and responsible action for, halting biodiversity loss.
On Sunday, Chair Hernández introduced the meeting’s agenda and organization of work (IPBES/9/1 and Add.1), which were adopted.
On IPBES membership, Chair Hernández announced that there were 139 members, two new members since IPBES-8: North Macedonia and Suriname.
On admission of observers, members welcomed all new observers as recommended by the Bureau.
On the election of officers, Chair Hernández said that, at the end of IPBES-9, new members for the MEP will need to be elected. She added that, regarding Bureau members’ terms, Asia-Pacific will nominate a new candidate as Vice-Chair following a relevant resignation, and Africa and Asia-Pacific candidates will nominate alternate members.
Asia Mohamed (Sudan) was elected as the meeting’s rapporteur.
On Saturday, regional groups presented their nominations for the MEP.
Norway, for WEOG, nominated: Josef Settele (Germany); Isabel Sousa Pinto (Portugal); Markus Fischer (Switzerland); Catherine Febria (Canada); and Carolyn Lundquist (New Zealand). Rob Alkemade (the Netherlands) was nominated as alternate member.
India, for Asia and the Pacific, nominated: Shizuka Hashimoto (Japan); Ning Wu (China); Rizwan Irshad (Pakistan); Madhav Karki (Nepal); and David bin Magintan (Malaysia). Zahari bin Ibrahim (Malaysia) was nominated as alternate member.
Senegal, for the African Group, nominated: Mohammed Sghir Taleb (Morocco); Christopher Gordon (Ghana); Eric Bertrand Fokam (Cameroon); Luthando Dziba (South Africa); and Dorothy Nyingi (Kenya). Hekma Achour (Tunisia), John Kazembe (Malawi), Linus Munishi (Tanzania), and Aliyu Barau (Nigeria) were nominated as alternate members.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, nominated: Rovshan Abbasov (Azerbaijan); Özden Görücü (Türkiye); Alla Aleksanyan (Armenia); Milan Mataruga (Bosnia and Herzegovina); and Mihaela Antofie (Romania).
Argentina, for GRULAC, nominated: Adriana Flores-Díaz (Mexico); Antonio Díaz de León Corral (Mexico); Marie-Louise Felix (Saint Lucia); German Ignacio Andrade Perez (Colombia); and Ricardo Motta Pinto Coelho (Brazil). Ryan Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago), Andrés Guhl (Colombia), and Guido Saborio (Costa Rica) were nominated as alternates.
Regarding the Bureau, India, for Asia and the Pacific, nominated Vinod Bihari Mathur (India) as Vice-Chair and Bishwa Nath Oli (Nepal) as alternate member.
Zambia, for the African Group, nominated Felix Kanungwe Kalaba (Zambia) as alternate member.
All nominees were elected by acclamation.
Stadler Trengove, IPBES Secretariat, reported on credentials on Sunday and Thursday. On Saturday, he provided a report, noting 66 members had submitted original credentials and 36 had submitted copies of credentials. The Plenary accepted the credentials.
Report of the Executive Secretary and Other Reports
On Sunday, Executive Secretary Larigauderie presented her report on the implementation of the RWP (IPBES/9/4 and IPBES/9/INF/6, 9, 11, 17, 18, and 23), highlighting work on the upcoming assessments. She provided an overview of the work of the task forces along the IPBES objectives on assessing knowledge, building capacity, strengthening knowledge, supporting policy, and improving the effectiveness of the Platform.
Robert Spaull, IPBES Head of Communications, reported on communication and engagement, focusing on traditional and social media interactions, impact tracking, and strengthening engagement with stakeholders.
Aníbal Pauchard, Co-Chair of the invasive alien species assessment, presented an update on the ongoing work, focusing on the content of the assessment and its SPM.
Bonnie Myers, IPBES Secretariat, provided progress reports on the scope, selection of experts, and timelines of the nexus and transformative change assessments.
Members recognized that the work of the task forces is now more aligned with ongoing assessments. They also sought concrete ways to increase exchanges of best practices between national platforms. Others noted regional assessments are crucial to making progress on the global assessment; and called for online meetings to ensure meaningful participation. Members also reiterated the need to: bring IPLC values and knowledge systems into all IPBES activities; continue to explore coordination with the IPCC; and support developing countries with capacity building and use of knowledge in policies.
In response to questions, Larigauderie: confirmed work is ongoing for all IPBES functions and will be presented under the relevant agenda item; acknowledged the importance of national platforms, pointing to related work by the capacity-building task force; and noted comments on communication.
Pauchard confirmed that the linkage between climate change and invasive species was now part of the assessment, reflecting growing cooperation with the climate change community.
Final Outcome: In its decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary welcomes the report of the Executive Secretary on progress in the implementation of the RWP and requests her to provide a report to IPBES-10.
Thematic Assessment of the Sustainable Use of Wild Species
On Sunday, Chair Hernández introduced the relevant documents on the sustainable use assessment (IPBES/9/6, IPBES/9/INF/1 and 8), thanking Co-Chairs Marla Emery (US/Norway), Jean-Marc Fromentin (France), and John Donaldson (South Africa).
Members agreed to directly assign consideration of the assessment to WG1, which met in nine sessions from Sunday to Wednesday.
On Sunday, the assessment’s co-chairs presented the four sections of the SPM and their respective main messages, and members initiated the discussion with general comments.
On Monday, members concluded general comments and focused on: the assessment’s introductory part; key messages from the chapters; a section on the sustainable use of wild species being critical for people and nature; and a section on the status and trends in the use of wild species.
On Tuesday, delegates continued discussion on the status and trends in the use of wild species. They further addressed drivers influencing the sustainability of the use of wild species, and key elements and conditions for the sustainable use of wild species. An FoC group discussed figures and tables.
On Wednesday, deliberations of the assessment in WG1 were concluded with delegates discussing: pathways and levers to promote sustainable use and enhance the sustainability of the use of wild species in a dynamic future; the SPM’s appendices; and all outstanding issues from previous sessions.
On Thursday, in plenary, delegates formally approved the SPM and accepted the chapters of the assessment. MOROCCO raised concerns, noting it has communicated these to the Secretariat, saying he could only take note of the report, and requested this to be reflected in the final meeting report.
In concluding remarks, Co-Chair Donaldson highlighted that “We used to work in silos; this time we worked together to get the big picture and ended up with a picture much bigger than we ever thought.”
Co-Chair Fromentin stressed the importance of bringing social and natural scientists together to properly address the sustainable use of wild species. “We have all arrived at the same conclusion that humans are fully part of nature,” he underscored and added, quoting Aldo Leopold, “citizens of the Earth community.”
Co-Chair Emery emphasized that the robust knowledge base of the assessment is an outcome of IPBES commitment to bring together multiple knowledge systems and sources, integrating social and natural sciences. She lauded the “experts who worked on ILK in partnership with IPLCs to bring that fountain of knowledge into the assessment.”
On Saturday, in plenary, the EU welcome the adoption of the SPM and raised an issue regarding the proceeding at the conclusion of WG1. She pointed to discussions on a data-driven figure in the SPM, noting that a Friends of the Chair group had been established to further deliberations but was offered no opportunity to report to WG1 and discuss. She called upon the Bureau to ensure due process in future plenary sessions.
Final Outcome: In its decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary approves the SPM of the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species, and accepts the chapters of the assessment, including their executive summaries. The SPM, as agreed by WG1 is annexed to document IPBES/9/L.12, and the chapters are contained in IPBES/9/INF/1.
The SPM is structured in a short introduction and four thematic sections, containing eight figures, one table, and four boxes, three with examples and case studies, and one that introduces CITES and the CBD. It contains three annexes, specifying definitions of practices, communication of the degree of confidence, and a knowledge gaps table.
The introduction summarizes the scope and aim of the assessment and provides a definition of the terms “sustainable use” and “wild species,” accompanied by a figure showing the organization of the sustainable use assessment along four main groups of wild species inhabiting different types of biomes, ecoregions or ecosystems, four extractive practices, one non-extractive practice, and nine types of use.
Section A, entitled “Sustainable use of wild species is critical for people and nature,” contains the following key messages:
- Billions of people in all regions of the world rely on and benefit from the use of wild species for food, medicine, energy, income, and many other purposes.
- Sustainable use of wild species is central to the identity and existence of many IPLCs.
- Ensuring sustainability of the use of wild species, including by promoting the sustainable use and halting overexploitation, is critical to reverse the global trend in biodiversity decline.
Section B, entitled “Status and trends in the use of wild species,” contains the following key messages:
- Status and trends in the uses of wild species vary depending on types and scales of use, and social-ecological contexts.
- The sustainability of the use of wild species is influenced negatively or positively by multiple drivers.
- Key elements of sustainable use of wild species have been identified in relevant international and regional standards, agreements, and certification schemes, but indicators are incomplete, most notably for social components.
Section C, entitled “Key elements and conditions for the sustainable use of wild species,” contains the following key messages:
- Policy instruments and tools are most successful when tailored to the social and ecological contexts of the use of wild species and support fairness, rights, and equity.
- Policy instruments and tools are more effective when they are supported by robust and adaptive institutions and are aligned across sectors and scales. Inclusive, participatory mechanisms enhance the adaptive capacity of policy instruments.
- Effective monitoring of social, including economic, and ecological outcomes supports better decision-making. Scientific evidence is often limited, and ILK is underutilized and undervalued.
Section D, entitled “Pathways and levers to promote sustainable use and enhance the sustainability of the use of wild species in a dynamic future,” contains the following key messages:
- The sustainability of the use of wild species in the future is likely to be challenged by climate change, increasing demand, and technological advances. Addressing and meeting these challenges will require transformative changes.
- To address current and projected future pressures, concerted interventions will be needed to implement and scale-up policy actions that have been shown to support the sustainable use of wild species.
- The world is dynamic and, to remain sustainable, use of wild species requires constant negotiation and adaptive management. It also requires a common vision of sustainable use and transformative change in the human-nature relationship.
Section D also contains a list of seven key elements that have been deployed in limited contexts and could be used as levers of changes to promote sustainable use and enhance the sustainability of the use of wild species in the future if they are scaled-up across practices, regions, and sectors.
The key elements are:
- inclusive and participatory decision-making;
- inclusion of multiple forms of knowledge and recognition of rights;
- equitable distribution of costs and benefits;
- policies tailored to local social and ecological context;
- monitoring of social and ecological conditions and practices;
- coordinated and aligned policies; and
- robust institutions, from customary to statutory.
On Sunday, Chair Hernández further introduced the relevant documents on the values assessment (IPBES/9/7 and IPBES/9/INF/2 and 7), thanking Co-Chairs Unai Pascual (Spain), Patricia Balvanera (Mexico), Michael Christie (UK), and Brigitte Baptiste (Colombia).
Parties agreed to directly assign consideration of the assessment to WG1, which held six sessions from Wednesday to Friday.
On Wednesday, the assessment’s co-chairs introduced the SPM and members initiated discussions with general comments.
On Thursday, delegates considered: the assessment’s key messages; a section on understanding the diverse values of nature; and a section on measuring and making visible the values of nature.
On Friday, members finalized consideration of key messages and focused on sections on: leveraging the diverse values of nature for transformative change towards sustainability; and embedding the values of nature for transformative decision-making for sustainability.
On Saturday, in plenary, delegates formally approved, with a standing ovation, the SPM and accepted the chapters of the assessment.
MOROCCO raised concerns, noting it had communicated these to the Secretariat, saying he could only take note of the report, and requested the reservation be reflected in the final meeting report.
The assessment co-chairs thanked all involved for their dedication, efforts and contributions over the past four years, highlighting the leadership of David González-Jiménez, Head of the Technical Support Unit (TSU).
Co-Chair Christie called upon governments to take on board the values and ideas they had approved, and change decisions and the institutions they work for. He also highlighted the report as an example of how high-quality work can be produced with a much lower carbon footprint.
Co-Chair Pascual called the report a solid document incorporating best available science and input from other sources, and acknowledged the contribution of friends and family who “made the dedicated work of the authors possible.”
Co-Chair Baptiste highlighted the rich debates leading to this very important summation of the values of biodiversity, and underscored the contributions of those enabling the author team over the past four years.
Co-Chair Balvanera 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 the first call in 2014 to the report’s approval. She dedicated all these efforts to the peoples, species, and entities affected by decisions about nature, and whose values are not considered.
Marie Stenseke, MEP Co-Chair, congratulated all involved for a “game-changing report” driving how we value our blue-green planet and get a good quality of life for all, leaving no one behind, and highlighted how the assessment bridges diverse knowledge systems in a very elegant way.
Chair Hernández thanked the Plenary for providing their knowledge to make the SPM a better tool for informing decision makers, calling the process a “fantastic example of co-creation.”
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary approves the SPM of the values assessment and accepts the individual chapters of the assessment, including their executive summaries. The SPM of the values assessment is annexed to document IPBES/9/L.13, and the assessment chapters are contained in IPBES/9/INF/2.
The SPM contains 10 key messages, four background messages, and an appendix on communication of the degree of confidence. The background messages are divided into headings, sub-headings, and detailed messages.
The 10 key messages are:
- The causes of the global biodiversity crisis and the opportunities to address them are tightly linked to the ways nature is valued in political and economic decisions at all levels.
- Despite the diversity of nature’s values, most policymaking approaches have prioritized a narrow set of values at the expense of both nature and society, as well as future generations, and have often ignored values associated with IPLCs’ worldviews.
- The diversity of nature’s values in policymaking can be advanced by considering a typology of nature’s values that encompasses the richness of people’s relationships with nature.
- Valuation processes can be tailored to equitably take into account the values of nature of multiple stakeholders in different decision-making contexts.
- More than 50 valuation methods and approaches, originating from diverse disciplines and knowledge systems, are available to date to assess nature’s values. Choosing appropriate and complementary methods requires assessing trade-offs between their relevance, robustness, and resource requirements.
- Despite increasing calls for considering valuation in policy decisions, scientific documentation shows less than 5% of published valuation studies report uptake in policy decisions.
- Achieving sustainable and just futures requires institutions that enable a recognition and integration of diverse values of nature and nature’s contributions to people.
- Transformative change needed to address the global biodiversity crisis relies on shifting away from predominant values that currently over-emphasize short-term and individual material gains to nurturing sustainability-aligned values across society.
- Working with a combination of four values-based leverage points (undertaking valuation, embedding values in decision-making, policy reform, and shifting societal goals) may catalyze transformation towards sustainable and just futures.
- Information, resource (i.e., technical and financial) and capacity gaps hinder the inclusion of diverse values of nature in decision-making. Capacity building and development, and collaborations among a range of societal actors can help bridge these gaps.
The four background messages focus on:
- understanding the diverse values of nature;
- measuring and making visible the values of nature;
- leveraging the diverse values of nature for transformative change towards sustainability; and
- embedding the values of nature for transformative decision-making for sustainability.
Scoping report for the business and biodiversity assessment: On Sunday, Chair Hernández drew attention to document IPBES/9/8 on the scoping report for a methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people (business and biodiversity assessment).
Parties agreed to directly assign consideration to WG2.
On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented the Chair’s note on the scoping document, and the draft decision (IPBES/9/1/Add.2). WG2 addressed the assessment’s scope and rationale.
On Wednesday, the group continued discussions on the scope and rationale, and addressed the chapter outline.
On Thursday, the group continued discussions on the chapter outline and addressed outstanding issues on the scope and rationale.
On Friday, WG2 concluded deliberations and approved the scoping report and forwarded it to the IPBES Plenary.
On Saturday, the Plenary approved the scoping report (IPBES/9/L.11). Chair Hernández invited members to host the TSU for the assessment, noting that written invitations will be sent out and the Bureau will consider offers in due course.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1, the Plenary approves the undertaking of a methodological assessment of business and biodiversity and the scoping report set out in IPBES/9/L.11.
The scoping report for the business and biodiversity assessment contains three sections on: scope, rationale, timeline and geographical coverage, and methodological approach; chapter outline; and timetable.
The business and biodiversity assessment will strengthen the knowledge base to support efforts by business to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and the three objectives of the CBD. It will also support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and inform other relevant MEAs’ processes and efforts. It will categorize the dependencies and impacts of business and financial institutions on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people (NCP), and assess methods for measuring direct dependencies and impacts and, where appropriate, indirect dependencies and impacts, and options for actions by businesses and by others, including governments, the financial sector, IPLCs, and civil society, that interact with business. It also addresses potential conflicts and relevant gaps in approaches to measurement in the context of different activities and sectors.
The assessment will be global in scope and address issues related to all sectors and business types. Regional adaptations and applications will also be considered across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. The assessment will be carried out in line with the procedures of a fast-track assessment.
The assessment will follow established practices of IPBES thematic and methodological assessments, including selection of literature, and a balanced, highly interdisciplinary author team. It will consist of an SPM with a length of approximately 8,500 words and six chapters, each will have an executive summary, present relevant case studies, and identify key gaps in knowledge, data, methodologies, and reporting standards. The assessment will be consistent with the IPBES conceptual framework, and will be supported by and work in line with guidance from the five IPBES task forces. A TSU will be established to provide technical support, and the MEP will facilitate exchange among the co-chairs and TSUs of ongoing assessments to enable synergies and complementarity. The assessment contains the following six chapters:
- Setting the scene;
- How does business depend on biodiversity?
- How does business impact biodiversity?
- Frameworks, metrics, indicators and tools to measure business dependence and impact on biodiversity;
- Businesses as key actors of change: Options for action by business; and
- Creating an enabling environment for business: Options for actions by governments, the financial sector, and civil society.
The assessment is expected to hold its first author meeting in the second quarter of 2023, and to finalize draft chapters and the SPM to be presented to IPBES-12 in the second half of 2025.
Engagement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented the relevant documents (IPBES/9/9 and INF/26). Discussions continued in WG2.
On Friday, in WG2, Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie presented the documents, including a compilation of the thematic or methodological issues related to biodiversity and climate change. Delegates engaged and agreed on decision text discussing further collaboration between the two bodies.
On Saturday, the Plenary approved the draft decision, as forwarded from WG2.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary:
- welcomes the report on progress on engagements with the IPCC and takes note of the compilation of suggestions for thematic or methodological issues related to biodiversity and climate change that would benefit from collaboration between IPCC and IPBES;
- recognizes the limited number of submissions on such thematic and methodological issues received and contained in IPBES/9/INF/26 and requests the Secretariat to issue a new call for contributions for consideration at IPBES-10;
- invites the national focal points of the Platform to engage with their IPCC counterparts;
- invites the Bureau and the Secretariat to continue exploring with IPCC approaches for cooperation and potential joint activities; and
- encourages members and others to undertake knowledge development and research regarding the interlinkages between biodiversity and climate change.
Building Capacity, Strengthening Knowledge Foundations, and Supporting Policy
On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented the relevant documents (IPBES/9/10 and INF/12-16) and assigned substantive consideration to WG2.
Work programme deliverables and task force work plans: On Monday, WG2 initiated discussion on the work programme deliverables and work plans of the five task forces (capacity building, knowledge and data, ILK, policy tools and methodologies, and scenarios and models) for the intersessional period 2022-2023.
On Tuesday, the group focused on the task forces’ work plans and deliverables.
On Saturday, the Plenary approved the draft decisions on the work plans and deliverables of the five task forces contained in IPBES/9/L.2 and in documents (IPBES/9/L.5-9).
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary addresses the deliverables and work plans for the five IPBES task forces. Regarding the task force on capacity building, the Plenary welcomes the deliverables supporting the objectives of enhanced learning and engagement, facilitated access to expertise and information, and strengthened national and regional capacities (RWP objectives 2(a), 2(b) and 2(c), respectively) and the three initial priority topics of the RWP; and approves the work plan of the task force on capacity building for the intersessional period 2022-2023, as set out in an annex (IPBES/9/L.5) to the decision.
For the objective of enhanced learning and engagement (objective 2(a)), the deliverables are to:
- implement the fellowship programme;
- implement the training and familiarization programme; and
- organize science-policy dialogues with national focal points.
For the objective of facilitated access to expertise and information (objective 2(b)), the deliverables are to support the uptake of approved assessment reports and other deliverables, and encourage development of communities of practice around them; and to convene regular meetings of the capacity-building forum.
For the objective of strengthened national and regional capacities (objective 2(c)), the deliverable is to encourage the development of science-policy platforms, networks, and assessments for biodiversity and ecosystem services at the national and (sub)regional levels.
The work plan of the task force on capacity building for the intersessional period 2022-2023 includes:
- on enhanced learning and engagement: five activities to implement the fellowship programme, four activities to implement the training and familiarization programme, three science-policy dialogue meetings, and two online dialogue meetings with stakeholders;
- on facilitated access to expertise and information: six activities to support the uptake of approved assessment findings and other deliverables and encourage the development of communities of practice around them; and the convening of a sixth meeting of the capacity-building forum; and
- on strengthened national and regional capacities, the task force will continue to support the Platform’s engagement with and strengthening of national and (sub)regional science-policy platforms, networks, and assessments.
On the task force on knowledge and data, the Plenary welcomes: the progress made in the implementation of objective 3(a) of the RWP; the data and knowledge management policy; and the deliverables supporting objective 3(a) and the three initial priority topics of the RWP. It further approves the work plan of the task force as set out in IPBES/9/L.6.
On knowledge generation catalysis, the deliverables are to:
- review and further develop the process for catalyzing the generation of new knowledge, and the living guidelines for identifying knowledge gaps, including the relevant template;
- provide support to assessment authors in identifying knowledge gaps and promote action by relevant external organization to address such gaps; and
- monitor the impact of knowledge generation catalysis efforts.
The work plan of the task force contains four main activities, namely:
- reviewing and further developing the process for catalyzing the generation of new knowledge, the living guidelines for knowledge gaps, and the template for collecting such gaps;
- supporting assessment authors in identifying knowledge gaps as part of ongoing assessments, including online or in-person sessions for the invasive alien species (IAS), nexus, and transformative change assessments;
- promoting the uptake of identified knowledge gaps by relevant external organizations through regional online or in-person dialogues, exchange of information, and provision of access to identified gaps to national focal points and the scientific community; and
- monitoring the impact of knowledge generation catalysis through implementation of a monitoring plan based on identified gaps, and updating of the monitoring plan based on lessons learned.
On data management, the deliverables include:
- data and knowledge management policy and long-term vision;
- support to assessment authors on aspects relating to the data and knowledge management policy and the generation, management, handling, and delivery of IPBES products; and
- engagement with other entities on data and knowledge relevant to the Platform.
On the first deliverable, related activities include: review and, if needed, revision of the IPBES data and knowledge management policy; support and monitoring of the data and knowledge management policy; and further development of the relevant long-term vision.
On the second deliverable, activities include: support provided to the TSUs of the sustainable use and values assessments for the wrap up, documentation, and archiving of the work; continued support for policy implementation, including the development of data management reports and handling of ILK; continued support for access to and handling of external datasets; and continued support for advanced data technology.
On the third deliverable, the task force will engage with other entities, initiatives, and service providers on data and knowledge, including geospatial and Earth observations, socio-economic data sets, participative observatories data sets, infographic and cartographic visualizations, and web systems and services.
On the task force on ILK, the Plenary welcomes the deliverables supporting the objectives of enhanced recognition of and work with ILK systems (objective 3(b)) and the three initial priority topics of the RWP; and approves the work plan of the task force on ILK for the intersessional period 2022-2023, as set out in an annex (IPBES/9/L.7) to the decision.
The deliverables are: to implement the approach to recognizing and working with ILK in IPBES; and to strengthen the implementation of the participatory mechanism.
For the first deliverable, the work plan of the task force on ILK for the intersessional period 2022-2023 contains nine main activities, including:
- support for the selection of assessment expert groups and for ILK liaison groups for assessments;
- dialogue workshops with ILK experts and members of IPLCs;
- peer review of assessment reports; and
- an online call for contributions on ILK for the nexus, transformative change, and business and biodiversity assessments, and post-assessment activities.
For the second deliverable, the work plan includes:
- continued support for the MEP;
- engagement and capacity building with IPLCs through assessment activities and dialogue workshops, post-assessment activities, and webinars and side events at relevant meetings;
- further development of the ILK section of the IPBES website and of the communications and engagement strategy for strategic partners and collaborative supporters; and
- monitoring of ILK experts’ participation in IPBES processes.
On the task force on policy tools and methodologies, the Plenary welcomes the deliverables supporting the objective of advanced work on policy instruments, policy support tools and methodologies (objective 4(a)) and the three initial priority topics of the RWP; and approves the work plan of the task force on policy tools and methodologies for the intersessional period 2022-2023, as set out in an annex (IPBES/9/L.8) to the decision.
The deliverables are to:
- promote and support the use of IPBES findings in decision-making;
- strengthen the policy relevance of IPBES assessments; and
- provide support to authors of the policy chapters in IPBES assessment reports.
The work plan of the task force on policy tools and methodologies for the intersessional period 2022-2023 includes:
- for the first deliverable, convening dialogue workshops, providing input to meetings of national focal points, supporting the IPBES impact tracking database and promoting its use, identifying entry points and potential modalities to increase the use of IPBES products at all levels, and creating fact sheets for assessments;
- for the second deliverable, peer review of the first order draft of the chapters of the nexus and transformative change assessment reports and promoting wider engagement of the policy and practitioner community in the peer review; and
- for the third deliverable, convening and/or contributing to webinars of the nexus and transformative change assessment reports, ensuring that supporting materials are ready for use by the authors of the business and biodiversity assessment report, and supporting the identification of policy-related knowledge gaps in IPBES assessment reports.
On the task force on scenarios and models, the Plenary: welcomes progress in the implementation of objective 4(b) of the RWP, the deliverables supporting the objective, and the three initial priority topics of the RWP; approves the work plan as set out in IPBES/9/L.9; and invites the scientific community and other actors to accelerate the development of scenarios and models for biodiversity and ecosystem services, address the identified gaps, and discuss and test, in particular with IPLCs, the opportunities and limits of the nature futures framework (NFF).
The deliverables under the task force are: providing support on scenarios and models for IPBES assessments; and catalyzing the further development of scenarios and models for future assessments.
Related activities for providing support for assessments include:
- distribution of the IPBES call for nominations of authors and fellows for the business and biodiversity assessment through relevant networks;
- organization of webinars for authors of the nexus and transformative change assessment reports;
- peer review by the task force of the first order drafts of the chapters of the nexus and transformative change assessments;
- support for the IAS, nexus, and transformative change assessments on the use of currently available scenarios; and
- organization of an online or in-person dialogue workshop with experts on ILK and members of IPLCs, aiming at discussion of ILK and scenarios.
Activities to catalyze the further development of scenarios and models for future assessments include:
- further development of the NFF foundations and a synthesis of catalyzed work on scenario development across knowledge systems for consideration at IPBES-10;
- further development of the draft methodological guidance on the use of the NFF as one of the available tools for facilitating a comparison of existing scenarios and models in IPBES assessments and as a tool for further catalyzing the development of new scenarios of desirable futures for people and nature;
- organization of an online dialogue with IPBES national focal points to test the NFF and discuss its limits and opportunities; and
- organization of an online or in-person workshop with experts on scenarios and models, to catalyze the further development of scenarios and models for future IPBES assessments.
Activities also include catalyzing the further development of scenarios and models, across knowledge systems and by various stakeholders for future assessments through:
- encouraging the publication of third-party research in external peer-reviewed journals and grey literature on scenarios and models;
- undertaking an effort to identify emerging publications and their underlying data sets on scenarios and models;
- organizing capacity-building activities to facilitate the use of existing scenarios and models and catalyze the development of new ones;
- providing guidance on testing the possible use of the NFF in assessments;
- supporting attendance at and development of talks and sessions for major conferences to catalyze the further development of scenarios and models; and
- exploring the development of a knowledge base of case studies in collaboration with the task forces on knowledge and data, and ILK.
Nature futures framework: The NFF, placing relationships between people and nature at its core, forms the basis for developing scenarios of positive futures for nature, to help inform assessments of policy options across multiple scales.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary welcomes the progress made on the NFF foundations. The Plenary further invites the scientific community and other relevant actors, in particular IPLCs, to discuss the opportunities and limits of, as well as test, as appropriate, the NFF.
The foundations of the NFF are included in document IPBES/9/L.10. The sub-heading of the framework refers to a flexible tool to support the development of scenarios and models of desirable futures for people, nature, and Mother Earth.
The document includes an introduction; a section on how scenarios are used in policy and decision-making on biodiversity and ecosystem services; a section on the foundations of the NFF; and concluding remarks.
On ways scenarios are used in policymaking, the document includes sections on: use of scenarios and models; limitations of current scenarios and models; shortcomings of the development and use of scenarios and models in the context of nature and NCP; and the development of a new framework to promote the effective use of scenarios for nature and NCP.
On the NFF foundations, the document addresses the history of the NFF and its contribution to catalyzing the development of scenarios and models; offers a description of the NFF; and discusses what is unique in the framework.
Improving the Effectiveness of the Platform
On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented the relevant documents (IPBES/9/8, IPBES/9/11, and INF/19-22) and assigned substantive consideration to WG2.
On Friday, in WG2, delegates considered the draft decision.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary:
- requests the Bureau, MEP, and the Secretariat to continue taking into account the recommendations set out in the report on the review of the Platform at the end of its first work programme;
- invites governments and relevant stakeholders to increase the number of their nominations for experts, including all relevant fields of expertise, and strengthening gender balance;
- notes with appreciation the progress made in developing terms of reference for a mid-term review of the RWP, which will be conducted between IPBES-10 and IPBES-12;
- recognizes the importance of ensuring the full and effective participation of all members and observers in proposed online activities; and
- welcomes the recommendations for streamlining future scoping processes.
Additional Elements of the Rolling Work Programme
On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented document IPBES/9/12 and assigned substantive consideration to WG2.
On Friday, in WG2, the Secretariat introduced document IPBES/9/12 on requests, inputs, and suggestions for additional elements of the RWP. Discussions focused on the second global assessment and a thematic assessment of ecological connectivity.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/1 (contained in IPBES/9/L.2), the Plenary:
- requests the MEP and the Bureau to prepare an initial scoping to form the basis of a fast-track assessment on ecological connectivity;
- decides to consider, at IPBES-10, requests, inputs, and suggestions for a second global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services and an assessment on ecological connectivity, as well as any additional requests, inputs, and suggestions;
- invites the scientific community to accelerate the building of knowledge for a second global assessment, including work on filling the gaps identified in the first Global Assessment Report and other completed assessments; and
- decides to enable governments to undertake an additional review of the SPM of the assessment of IAS in August 2022.
Financial and Budgetary Arrangements for the Platform
On Sunday, Chair Hernández introduced relevant documents (IPBES/9/5 and INF/24). Executive Secretary Larigauderie provided an update, including on the fundraising strategy.
Members highlighted: the importance of funding for capacity building; the need to learn from online working arrangements; and the need to diversify contributions from governments and secure a wide funding base from various world regions.
During the discussion, a number of pledges were made, including from AUSTRALIA, FINLAND, JAPAN, and NORWAY.
Chair Hernández noted that the largest in-kind contributions come from the experts, thanking and lauding them. Discussions continued in the budget contact group, co-chaired by Vinod Bihari Mathur (India) and Hamid Čustović (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The group met throughout the week behind closed doors. On Thursday, the budget group reported on its deliberations, noting constructive progress.
On Saturday, the Secretariat introduced the draft decision (IPBES/9/L.4), which was adopted without amendment.
Final Outcome: In its decision IPBES-9/3 (contained in IPBES/9/L.4), the Plenary:
- welcomes the cash and in-kind contributions received since IPBES-8, noting with concern the gap between the income and the expenses currently forecast for 2022, 2023, and 2024, and stressing the need to increase the number of Platform members voluntarily contributing;
- invites pledges and contributions to the trust fund of the Platform, as well as in-kind contributions, with a view to broadening the donor base;
- requests the Secretariat, under the guidance of the Bureau, to increase efforts to encourage contributions to the trust fund and to report at IPBES-10 on expenditures for 2022 and on activities related to fundraising; and
- adopts the revised budget for 2022, amounting to USD 8,873,599, the budget for 2023, amounting to USD 10,322,910, and the provisional budget for 2024, amounting to USD 10,148,828.
Annex I contains the status of cash and in-kind contributions to the Platform.
Dates and Venues of Future Sessions
On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented document IPBES/9/13, noting that IPBES-10 will take place in Madison, Wisconsin, US, and inviting offers to host IPBES-11.
On Thursday, Chair Hernández noted no offers had been received and tasked the Bureau with identifying a suitable venue and announcing the decision at IPBES-10.
On Saturday, Chair Hernández invited members to consider the relevant draft decision (IPBES/9/L.3). The EU requested several amendments to decision text in reference to the process and agenda for IPBES-11, requesting to refer to “the second half of 2024, taking into account the calendar of relevant intergovernmental meetings” instead of “October 2024” for the date of IPBES-11 and to invite members in a position to do so to consider hosting the eleventh session of the Plenary, which was accepted. Delegates also amended the decision text requesting the Bureau to decide on a specific date and venue for IPBES-11 to do so “in consultation with members.”
In Annex II, containing the draft provisional agenda for IPBES-11, delegates agreed to not prematurely include the scoping reports for the second global biodiversity assessment, and the assessment of ecological connectivity. With these amendments, draft decision IPBES/9/L.3 was adopted.
Final Outcome: In decision IPBES-9/2 (contained in IPBES/9/L.3), the Plenary:
- decides that IPBES-11 will be held in the second half of 2024, taking into account the calendar of relevant intergovernmental meetings;
- invites members in a position to do so to consider hosting IPBES-11;
- requests the Bureau to decide, in consultation with members, on the specific dates of IPBES-11, and on the venue, taking into account any offers from members to host the session;
- requests the Executive Secretary to conclude and sign a host country agreement for IPBES-11 with that government as soon as possible, in conformity and compliance with the relevant UN resolutions and provisions;
- takes note of the draft provisional agendas for IPBES-10 and IPBES-11, annexed to the decision; and
- requests the Executive Secretary to invite written comments on the proposed organization of work of IPBES-10 and to finalize the organization of work in line with comments received.
Annex I provides a draft provisional agenda for IPBES-10, including the thematic assessment of IAS.
Annex II provides a draft provisional agenda for IPBES-11, including the nexus assessment and the transformative change assessment.
On Sunday, Chair Hernández presented IPBES/9/INF/25, focusing on the UN collaborative partnership arrangement for the work of the Platform. Edoardo Zandri, UNEP, also on behalf of UNDP, FAO, and UNESCO, presented the organizations’ activities under the collaborative agreement. He underscored joint initiatives, including on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030); and highlighted the four organizations’ efforts on several IPBES-related activities.
Chair Hernández expressed her appreciation to UNEP, UNESCO, FAO, and UNDP for the support they had provided to the Platform and asked them to continue to provide such support.
On Saturday, Chair Hernández opened the closing plenary by expressing condolences to the people of Japan for the brutal assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, followed by a minute of silence.
WG1 Co-Chair Woodmatas and WG2 Co-Chair Marton-Lefèvre reported back on the groups’ deliberations.
Rapporteur Mohamed presented the meeting’s report (IPBES/9/L.1), which was accepted with no comments.
Executive Secretary Larigauderie thanked everyone for the success of IPBES-9, highlighting key accomplishments, including the sustainable use and values assessments, the scoping report for the business and biodiversity assessment, and the foundations for the NFF. Noting the fate of nature is in the hands of the IPBES community, she invited all onto the path toward real transformative change for people and the rest of nature.
Chair Hernández expressed gratitude for the camaraderie and mutual trust that marked these negotiations, acknowledging it has not always been easy, particularly with hybrid and late-night meetings. She remarked the knowledge IPBES generates lays the foundation for safeguarding life today and in the future—an important responsibility each delegate demonstrated full awareness of at IPBES-9.
In closing statements, members thanked the IPBES leadership and Secretariat, and the scientific community for their hard work, and welcomed the achievements of IPBES-9, especially the completion of the sustainable use and values assessments.
The Czech Republic, on behalf of the EU, emphasized the importance of biodiversity for livelihoods and all life on Earth, and the key role of the Platform in enabling policymakers to take well-informed and relevant decisions. He thanked delegates for the active engagement and stimulating discussions, and highlighted the “first-class media coverage,” making IPBES’ work known to millions.
Peru, on behalf of GRULAC, referred to the leadership of her region in the values assessment. She expressed hope the new assessments would contribute to the recognition of diverse worldviews and values, and to enhance policy making to contribute to conservation and the SDGs, and good quality of life for IPLCs. She also called for balance across the six IPBES objectives, highlighting developing countries’ need for capacity building, and technical and financial support.
Senegal, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed how crucial wild species and their sustainable use are for the wellbeing of current and future generations in his region, noting that the surge of poaching and illegal trade warranted more attention in future assessments. He welcomed the proposed regional capacity-building workshops for the uptake of the new assessments, and called for better representation of his region in case studies and activities related to IPLCs.
Japan, for ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, expressed confidence that knowledge gained from IPBES’ work will contribute significantly to the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature, the GBF, and the SDGs. She emphasized that further enhancing members’ technical capacity is key to accelerating actions, and noted discussions are under way to establish an Asia-Pacific regional hub on capacity building.
CHINA emphasized the importance of knowledge dissemination and capacity building and looked forward to the assessments’ accelerating the incorporation of science into policy and practical action, and contributing to achieving the SDGs and the GBF’s future implementation.
SOUTH AFRICA quoted Nelson Mandela that “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart,” noting that the two adopted SPMs speak on “issues in our hearts.” She highlighted the SPM on the sustainable use of wild species and offered to host the regional workshop on the NFF.
The US underscored members’ dedication to finding common ground in challenging times. She urged moving towards “a world where we all live in harmony with nature” and invited all members to Madison, Wisconsin, for IPBES-10.
Ivonne Higuero, CITES Secretary-General, welcomed the assessment on the sustainable use of wild species, highlighting relevant work under CITES. Looking forward to further engagement with IPBES, she pointed to the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of CITES to be held in Panama City, Panama, in November 2022.
Chair Hernández thanked all participants for their hard work and gaveled the meeting to a close at 3:00 pm.
A Brief Analysis of IPBES-9
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
A perfect storm loomed over the ninth session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-9). With two assessments to approve—the thematic assessment on the sustainable use of wild species (sustainable use assessment), and the methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services (values assessment), in addition to work to lay the foundation for the future of IPBES, delegates engaged in grueling discussions over the seven-day meeting.
Indeed, this was no small task. From the outset, delegates worked late into the night trying to conclude the jam-packed agenda in a cordial manner, while treading the fine line between politics and science to continue ensuring IPBES takes great strides in creating sound knowledge bases for policies and work on the conservation of nature and towards halting and reversing biodiversity loss. Members held on to their positions on numerous controversial issues and consensus often seemed distant. By the end of the week, however, the storm was over, and exhausted delegates took a moment to celebrate before heading home. It remains to be seen, mainly upon the uptake of IPBES’ work in policymaking, whether Murakami is right, and this is “what this storm is all about.”
This brief analysis looks at the steps IPBES-9 took to continue to take strides in firming up this scientific base to enable better policymaking.
The positive reception and wide uptake of its assessments is a testament to the effort the IPBES community puts in to allow the Platform to effectively operate at the frontier of science and policy. At IPBES-9, with two new assessments before them, delegates continued to demonstrate recognition of the importance of their efforts as they worked slowly but steadily to adopt the summaries for policymakers (SPMs) and accept the underlying chapters of both assessments.
IPBES is known to produce assessments that are at the cutting edge of science and policy. They expand the knowledge base and provide an opportunity for more informed policy and action. The negotiations to adopt the sustainable use assessment and the values assessment SPMs were always going to be difficult. Members must navigate a fine line. They need to marry the politics of national positions with the science underpinning these assessments, and produce a summary that has sufficient integrity and is easy enough to understand to be widely taken up.
The sustainable use assessment was the first one considered. Wild species are used everywhere and by all in both low- and high-income countries, as well as by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs). Thus far, wild species have been underestimated and underappreciated; it is this gap that the sustainable use assessment aimed to fill. The work also directly impacts the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as well as underpins discussions in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
In the assessment, the authors provide information on the conditions needed for more sustainable use of wild species. This hit a nerve with resource-dependent countries that are sensitive about multilateral regulations infringing on their economic interests. A related issue was the distinction between “promoting sustainable use” and the “sustainability of the use” of wild species. This is an important nuance, with some members arguing that a focus on the latter was not the mandate of the report and would go against the interest of developing countries to build out their economies.
Similarly, some members insisted on highlighting the social, economic, and environmental side of sustainability, arguing this is an established concept accessible to policymakers, who may be wary of giving too much weight to environmental considerations compared to economic ones. Similarly, and as was witnessed in the scoping for the business and biodiversity assessment, finding common ground remains difficult when addressing trade issues.
While the experts were clear that absolute growth in trade and subsequent demand contribute to pressure on wild species, delegates argued a more balanced representation was needed to include the socio-economic and development benefits of global trade, arguing against its “demonization,” and instead opted to highlight the lack of regulation and/or its application as causes for unsustainable use.
Similarly, political sensitivities were notable in discussions around the question of which (fishery) subsidies contribute to unsustainable use, and on agricultural practices as drivers of decline in wild species. The agreed text ultimately stated that most scenarios indicate future sustainable use may require fixing current inefficiencies, reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and suppressing harmful financial subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing in marine systems.
The values assessment was addressed later in the week and faced different challenges. This assessment provides guidance to help policymakers understand the diversity of values people hold in relation to nature, help embed these values into decision-making and policy-reform processes, and trigger transformative change towards just and sustainable futures.
Here some parties objected to including language on the rights of nature and other (e.g., rivers, lakes, and mountains) entities’ rights, citing potential confusion over the terminology. Others argued it is a crucial concept that can trigger transformative change. Ultimately, members agreed to mention the rights of nature and the rights of specific entities, including lakes, mountains, and rivers, as examples.
The “degrowth pathway” was another concept that proved controversial. Some members wanted the explanation of the concept to include an emphasis on reducing material energy needs in the Global North and redistributing wealth with the Global South. As could be expected, this was not universally well received, with many cautioning against such divisive language. Following protracted debate, members agreed to more neutral language, simply to emphasize strategies that “reduce the material throughput of society, protecting human wellbeing through equitable distribution of material wealth rather than growth.”
Although painful at times—in Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie’s words, “You probably feel like you have been hit by a truck, it is normal,”—members’ dedication to the task was evident as they soldiered on during the adoption of the SPM for the two assessments. The relief when the SPMs were adopted was palpable.
During the week, delegates convened in two working groups; one working group dealt with the adoption of the assessments and their summaries for policymakers. The other dealt with work that forms the foundations of the Platform; the work that will underpin the future assessments, including the expected second global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The work in working group two could arguably have been trickier, especially since issues, such as the nature futures framework (NFF), which aims to facilitate new biodiversity and ecosystem-based services scenarios and models for use by future assessments, speak to the heart of IPBES and its work. Additionally, the business and biodiversity assessment tries to marry two sectors that, as a delegate noted, always seem like they could never be analogous. This became obvious when it took over three days to agree on the text for the scoping report.
It was clear there were tensions between protecting national interests and the interests of biodiversity, especially around trade issues. Here many expressed concern over language that could be considered too prescriptive, particularly that on value chains, that could possibly have implications on other processes or sectors. After many long hours, delegates found an amicable solution where reference was made that international obligations need to be considered during the assessment, where relevant.
Looking further to the future, during the discussions on the rolling work programme up to 2030, it is clear IPBES has a full agenda. There are only three spaces available for future methodological or fast-track assessments, in addition to the second global assessment, ahead of the new work programme being finalized, ready for 2031.
The need for a second global assessment is generally accepted given the urgency of the biodiversity crisis and the need to review the post-2020 global biodiversity framework’s implementation, but there was also a widespread call for an assessment of ecological connectivity to commence as a fast-track assessment as soon as possible. Many developing countries, particularly those forming part of migratory corridors, view this as an essential area of investigation, especially as habitat loss and fragmentation are the primary causes of biodiversity loss, largely due to human infrastructure development. What was of concern, however, was that if such an assessment was accelerated, there may be other activities displaced in an organization that is already stretched to capacity and relies on the goodwill of many of its volunteers. Ultimately, members agreed to give the go-ahead for an initial scoping report for the connectivity assessment, but even this received some comment, with parties noting that the final green light for the assessment will be given—or not—at IPBES-10.
These decisions established that IPBES will, going forward, still provide valuable contributions to the knowledge base and set up IPBES to keep up its status and position at the forefront of biodiversity science and policy.
The work undertaken at IPBES-9 provides a solid foundation for continuing to improve the science-policy knowledge base for biodiversity, but the uptake of the work among those that matter—the practitioners, conservationists, and above all policymakers, among others—remains to be seen.
One of the key challenges IPBES assessments face is the need for simple, clear messages, as noted several times by developing country members and groups. This is due to their complexity and the high context-specificity. It is challenging to formulate clear messages that policymakers can take up and implement. But, to reach the public and the decision makers, clear and simple is what is needed.
However, as one delegated remarked during the closing ceremony, “We are laying down knowledge and a future for life on this Earth.” This speaks to the heart of IPBES’ mission. It is crucial to have good-enough science and knowledge to make better policies, and without continued strides to improve the knowledge base, this is simply not possible. And it is this that IPBES continues to provide.