IPBES request

CfR.3/2018/2 How could the comments from the scientific community support the comments/questions of the EU negotiators of the IPBES SPM on Global assessment?

Requesters: DG Environment, European Commission.
Date request received:  October 2018
Call for Experts: February 2019
Date of first meeting with requesters and EKLIPSE KCB and methods experts: 06/03/2019
Expected deadline for deliverables: 24/04/2019

Background and context of the request

In June 2018, the review of the 2nd order draft of IPBES global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services and first order draft of its Summary for Policy-Makers (SPM) was launched. Parties, like the EU, did provide comments but to be taken on board they need to be backed up by references from the main assessment. Revised versions of the full assessment and SPM were provided in March 2019. The comments on these final drafts were the basis of the negotiation of IPBES global assessment which will took place in Paris from 29 April - 4 May 2019. It is expected that the approved outcomes of IPBES global assessment support awareness raising on the issue of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the public and the political agenda at the highest level (EU Summit on the Future of EU on 9 May, G7 Summit in June and G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth on 15-16 June). It was extremely important to embark the EU scientific community in this debate by involving scientists in the reviewing of IPBES assessment, in supporting EU negotiators at IPBES-7 Plenary and in framing the post-2020 biodiversity policy agenda at EU and global level.

EU negotiators needed a synthesis of scientific comments on IPBES global assessment framed according to SPM and to their specific questions when the revised version was made available. EKLIPSE science synthesis report was needed for EU negotiators in time for the EU preparation of the IPBES-7 plenary on 29 April - 4 May 2019. This synthesis was shared with the Member States in the EU expert group on IPBES and Council Working Party on International Environmental issues which prepared for the negotiations at IPBES-7. EKLIPSE synthesis is also be relevant to support the global and EU discussions on post-2020 biodiversity policy framework to be adopted at CBD COP15 in Beijing in autumn 2020 and by the new Commission in 2021.

IPBES Expert Working Group

The Expert Working Group (EWG) gathers 7 European experts with a broad range of expertise and EU-wide geographical representation.

 The co-chairs of this group are:

  • Zuzana Harmackova (Postdoctoral researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre)
  • Peter C. Roebeling (Researcher, University of Aveiro)

 The other members of the expert working group are:

  • Carla-Leanne Washbourne (Lecturer in Environmental Science and Policy, University College London)
  • Mario Giampietro (Research Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona)
  • Judith Fisher (Director, Fisher Research Pty Ltd/ University of Western Australia/Western Australian Museum)
  • Sheri Young (Resource Integration Advisor, Government of Alberta)
  • Jesus Carrasco (Project Manager, Ecoacsa)

More information about the business EWG can be found here.

Completion of the request

The expert working group worked on IPBES Global Assessment on the links between the IPBES Global Assessment (GA) and its Summary for Policymakers (SPM). In particular this reports aimed to:

  1. Assess the needs for clarification of SPM based on the report chapters
  2. Assess which key messages and visuals in the SPM are the most critical to defend and keep in the SPM (even if they are challenged at IPBES-7)
  3. Identify which key messages are missing in the SPM (with proper anchors to the report chapters),
  4. Assess which key visuals from the report chapters should be lifted to the SPM
  5. Enrich the SPM with elements from the report chapters, as needed.

The report was released before IPBES Plenary held from the end of April until the first week of May in Paris.

Find here the final report that assesses the key messages, the need for clarifications, and provide suggestions on how to improve the consistency between the IPBES Global assessment and its Summary for Policymakers (SPM).

Also here, is the report that summarizes the experiences and lessons learnt from this process to help design future EKLIPSE mechanism actions related to IPBES and supporting EU negotiators.

Process documentation of the request

The process of the request is documented in the Document of Work.

Past activities

This request was initially put to EKLIPSE by DG Environment in October 2016 and entitled: “How could the comments from the scientific community support the comments/questions of the EU negotiators of the IPBES SPM on Global assessment?”

Due to the time contrains of this request and based in its especific focus, the following activities were carried out: 

a. Call for Experts to invite experts to support the negotiators from the EU and its Member States to provide relevant comment on the IPBES Global assessment Summary for Policy-Makers (SPM). The Summary for Policy Makers is one the main outputs of such intergovernmental science policy processes, as it is the one document with the most policy relevance. It is critical in that it contains the main policy elements referenced to in the assessment report.

b. Meetings with the requester in order to clarify and ensure the Expert Working Group will provide a reliable and comprehensive overview of the findings of the Global Assessment report and its representation in the SPM.

This input was very valuable to feed the negotiations within the EU and at the plenary session, and to subsequently result in an outcome that should have a great impact for policy making in the decade ahead.

See the DoW for more details about the request and the final report.