Request > Supporting European contributions to IPBES

How could the comments from the scientific community support the comments/questions of the EU negotiators of the IPBES SPM on Global assessment?

Requester: European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment (DG Environment)
Summary

Type of request: Support Initiatives
The purpose of this request was to support the EU delegation in the IPBES- 7 plenary in Paris in May 2019 and to ensure that the Summary of Policy makers was complete and reflected the key and most policy-relevant findings of every chapter from the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem services.  This support was provided by an Expert Working Group established by EKLIPSE, which provided materials for the negotiations and worked systematically to review claims made in the Summary for Policy Makers, assess and verify the framing of these claims against those in the Global Assessment Report, and identify the presence and/or absence of key messages between the Summary for Policy Makers and the Global Assessment Report.

Reference: Request CfR.3/2018/2

Expert Working Group
  • Zuzana Harmackova (Postdoctoral researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre) (Co-chair)
  • Peter C. Roebeling (Researcher, University of Aveiro)  (Co-chair)
  • 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)
Contact points

KCB Focal Point: Estelle Balian and Maria Ojanen (Deputy)
EMB Contact Point: Karla E. Locher and Marie Vandewalle

Final outputs

Final report: file.05.2019
Lessons learnt: file.06.2019
DOW: file.03.2019

The expert working group provided general and specific recommendation on the following topics:

  • The terminology of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) and ecosystem services (ES)
  • Nature-based solutions/ecosystem-based approaches
  • Scenario archetypes
  • Transformation
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Values
  • Knowledge gaps

For detailed formation of the  comments and suggestion please check the final report (here)

Impact in Policy

The purpose of the IPBES request was to support the EU delegation in the IPBES- 7 plenary in Paris in May 2019 and to ensure that the Summary of Policy (SPM) makers was complete and reflected the key and most policy-relevant findings of every chapter from the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The EU and its Member States had to negotiate the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem services at the IPBES-7 plenary in Paris in May 2019. It is important for Parties that their comments and suggestions for improvement of the SPM are backed up and justified by references from the main Global Assessment to be taken on board by IPBES co-chairs and Coordinating Lead Authors of respective chapters.

It is not possible for policy-makers to read the full assessment because of its size, technicality and time constraint. It is therefore of extremely valuable to support policy makers with scientific support to evaluate the details of the full assessment and ensure the SPM is effectively reflecting the policy-relevant content of the Assessment’s chapters and, if necessary, to make requests for changes in the SPM with supporting references and justification linked to the full Assessment.

Additional links:

IPBES
IPBES 7-Plenary
Global assessment
Summary for Policy makers (SPM)

Timeline

Date request received: 08/2019
Call for Experts: 06/12/2018
Date of experts selection: 02/2019
Date of EWG meeting: 01/03/2019

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?”

Selection of an Experts Working Group

EKLIPSE established a transparent and inclusive consultative process to engage the EU scientific community in this endeavour by selecting an Expert Working Group (EWG) from different disciplines for an in-depth analysis of the IPBES global assessment for supporting the negotiators from the EU and its Member States. EKLIPSE also aimed to raise awareness of the EU wide scientific community on the importance of IPBES Global Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for policy-making and in particular for the post-2020 biodiversity policy frameworks to be adopted at EU and global level.

The longer-term objective is to ensure a better engagement and active involvement of EU scientists in international policy negotiations as a recurring process supported by the EU and its Member States and activated through platforms such as Eklipse.

The specific aims of the EWG were to (1) assess whether the SPM key messages are justified by the content of the full IPBES GA report, (2) assess which key messages and visuals in the SPM are the most critical to defend and keep in the SPM, (3) assess the needs for clarification of the SPM based on the full report chapters, (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, and (5) enrich the SPM with elements from the report chapters, as needed.

Answering the request

On May 2019 a final report of this request was published, which provides the summary of findings by the EWG analysing the links between the IPBES Global Assessment and its Summary for Policymakers.

During the EWG’s working period and throughout the Plenary, the EWG, the Eklipse team and the requesters from DG Environment collected a substantial amount of process-wise experience related to this type of science-policy collaboration, which may be helpful for similar Eklipse EWGs and actions in the future. Therefore, the lessons learnt summarizes process-related experience and lessons learnt from the action “Supporting the EU negotiators on the IPBES Global Assessment’s Summary for Policymakers” to help design future Eklipse mechanism actions related to IPBES and supporting EU negotiators.

The importance of expert working groups providing assistance and advice to decision-makers is ever increasing. The experience of the Eklipse EWG on “Supporting the EU negotiators on the IPBES Global Assessment’s Summary for Policymakers” has shown that such working groups have a high potential. When well-managed, experts’ different countries of origin and expertise areas can represent a huge asset. The group has illustrated that thanks to the wide variety of expertise, technical experience and high motivation for dialogue and collaboration, experts’ resulting understanding of methodologies, approaches, and issues, and their ability to provide useful material for the EU negotiators, was substantial. This model of collaboration might be promising for future tighter inclusion of decision-makers in similar groups.