Vukan Lavadinovic, assistant professor at Faculty of Forestry in Belgrade, took place in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in Nairobi, Kenya in period 17-22. November.
United Nations established two intergovernmental organizations to combat ecological challenges which mankind is facing nowadays: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). IPCC was established in 1988, while IPBES is a young organization founded in 2012. Nevertheless it already gathers 132 State members, as well numerous NGOs, scientific institutions and individual stakeholders dedicated to nature protection.
IPBES is established as an independent body established by member states to provide scientific knowledge for decision makers. The work of IPBES can be broadly grouped into four complementary areas:
- Assessments: On specific themes (e.g. “Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production”); methodological issues (e.g. “Scenarios and Modelling); and at both the regional and global levels (e.g. “Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”).
- Policy Support: Identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies, facilitating their use, and catalyzing their further development.
- Building Capacity & Knowledge: Identifying and meeting the priority capacity, knowledge and data needs of our member States, experts and stakeholders.
- Communications & Outreach: Ensuring the widest reach and impact of our work.
Perhaps a practical example would help to understand better role of IPBES and how it works. At first there is an environmental issue that decision makers have to address on a global or regional scale. They address IPBES to provide them comprehensive scientific knowledge on it, so that their decisions are based on proper information. IPBES than announces a call for researchers who would like to contribute to their work. All scholars have to be nominated by their governments or institutions (if they are not from member states) in order to be eligible to apply for an IPBES assessment. These assessments are usually prepared in 3 years during which will several dozen scientists with hundreds contributing authors analyze in depth a certain issue. The last IPBES assessment on the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services gathered around 450 coauthors from 80 different countries, which together invested in the report work of total 17 years of its time. Each assessment has to be accepted by three different revision committees. The first one consists of scientists involved in the report, but they review each other chapters. The second review is done by external committee which consists of respectable scholars, while the third and the final one is done by policy makers from the member states. Finally when the assessment is approved by scientists and policy makers, it becomes a public document which is promoted by IPBES in media in order to increase public environmental awareness. The Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services was in a less than a year mentioned in more than 30,000 different media sources on more than 50 languages. Besides being promoted to general public, the Assessment will be used as a corner stone in G7 countries to define new policy on environmental issues and challenges.
Current IPBES work is focused on a new assessment report on “Sustainable use of wild species”. Aim of this report is to provide conceptual framework and unpacking for both terms – sustainable use and wild species. One of steps is to identify all possible practices which also include hunting. The assessment has to take in consideration various hunting and wildlife management practices around the globe and put them in a same context, which will be very challenging task. Work on this assessment started a year ago. The second authors’ meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya in period 17-22. November. Dr Vukan Lavadinović participated this meeting as a contributor to IPBES work. If everything goes as planned, it could expect the finished report by 2022. IPBES is open for new contributors, who could get in contact with the Secretariat on their web page: www.ipbes.net.
Vukan Lavadinović, assistant professor , Faculty of Forestry Begrade