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IPBES-4 adopts first full assessment

Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016

The fourth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES - 4) was held on 22-26 February 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The aim of IPBES 4 was to consider and adopt full reports and approve summaries for policy makers of the Platform’s first full assessments on: pollination and pollinators associated with food production; and a methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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Tendani Tsedu

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The fourth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES - 4) was held on 22-26 February 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The aim of IPBES 4 was to consider and adopt full reports and approve summaries for policy makers of the Platform’s first full assessments on: pollination and pollinators associated with food production; and a methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The IPBES chair, Abdul Hamid Zakri of the host country welcomed and congratulated delegates for “having come full circle,” since establishing the Platform. He described the two thematic assessments before IPBES-4 as “the first fruits of our labour.”

“These assessments are quite important for a platform which was recently established (2012) and which commissioned its first assessment in 2014,” says Dr Luthando Dziba, CSIR manager for ecosystem services and IPBES Knowledge and Data Task Force Member.

The assessment adopted points to a decline in wild bees and butterflies threatening crop output. "Many wild bees and butterflies have been declining in abundance, occurrence and diversity at local and regional scales in Northwest Europe and North America," said an assessment by the IPBES. It said declines in pollinators -- which also include a vast range of other insects, bats, birds and other animals had also been detected elsewhere in the world.

“These are early outcomes of the IPBES assessments,” says Dziba speaking from the meeting in Malaysia, “This was one of the priority assessments of ecosystem services. More assessments relevant to our work and where some of our own (South Africa) experts are contributing will be coming up in the near future. We are quite excited about these developments.”

The African assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services will focus on several thematic priorities including: the food-energy-water-livelihood nexus; land degradation including climate-related risks such as desertification; catchment to coast; biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; and invasive alien species.

These highlight the unique biocultural heritage of the region and the critical role that biodiversity and ecosystem services play in improving livelihoods within the context of economic growth and poverty reduction.

To read the full press release from IPBES - 4, click here.