The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)



Drafting a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for IPBES: Findings of Stakeholder Survey Reaching out to organisations

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) co-organised an online survey to consult with (potential) stakeholders on various aspects of stakeholder engagement in the IPBES programme of work.  The survey was designed to collect inputs on the most effective ways to engage stakeholders in all aspects of the IPBES work programme; the type of contributions that can be expected from stakeholders; and ways to ensure that the IPBES products will be useful to stakeholders.

Survey results are available here.



Expert Workshop on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES

The International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on the Contribution of Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES: Building Synergies with Science, will be held from 9 - 11 June 2013, in Tokyo, Japan. Convened by the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, the objectives of the workshop are to examine and identify procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems in the framework of IPBES and to review and assess possible conceptual frameworks for the work of IPBES that are based on, or accommodate, indigenous and local knowledge systems and worldviews. The workshop is part of the on-going intersessional process leading up to the second session of the Platform's Plenary (IPBES-2), where the outcomes of this workshop will be presented for further consideration.

Draft meeting agenda



UNEP Communication on the Inter-sessional Processes Preparing for the First Plenary Meeting of the IPBES (expected early 2013)

The United Nations Environment Programme has released a communication regarding the inter-sessional processes preparing for the first plenary meeting of the IPBES.  The communication outlines actions required for governments, not currently signed up to the platform, who wish to express intent to become a member of the platform.

The annex of the document contains a summary of the actions that will be taking place in the lead up to the first plenary.  Information within the annex covers preparation procedures for: nominations to the Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel; rules and procedures for meetings of the IPBES plenary; preparation for the initial work programme; overview of assessments; conceptual framework to guide the work of the platform; capacity building needs and activities; receiving and prioritising requests from governments; determining a scoping process; and structure and composition of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel.

Letter from Achim Steiner (UNEP, Executive Director) to Ministers



Second session of the plenary meeting to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for the IPBES

The second session of the plenary meeting to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for the IPBES was held in Panama City.  On 21 April 2012, following six days of negotiations, representatives of consenting Governments adopted a resolution, by which the IPBES was established as an independent intergovernmental body.  Representatives decided that the present resolution, and any future decisions of the Platform, will have a legally non-binding nature.

The seat of the IPBES secretariat is to be located in Bonn, Germany.  Representatives requested that the secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme facilitate the Platform until the secretariat is established, with a view to it being administered by one or more of the following: UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and the UNDP.  In the resolution it was decided that the first session of the Plenary of the IPBES would decide on the link between the Platform and the UN system.

Report of the second session of the plenary meeting to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services



Advance Papers for the Second Session of the IPBES Plenary

Following the intersessional process established at the first IPBES Plenary, advance versions of some of the papers for the second session in Panama in April 2012 are now available on the IPBES website.  Of particular note is the latest version of the possible elements of the work programme (UNEP/IPBES.MI/2/2) and the functions and structures of bodies that might be established under an IPBES (UNEP/IPBES.MI/2/3).

The November 2011 consultation with the UK IPBES Stakeholder Group on the work programme provided some very useful responses that UK government was able to utilise in contributing to the EU position submitted to the intersessional process; thank you to those who submitted views.  The EU position and those from other countries are available from the IPBES website intersessional-process pages.  

In preparation for the second session, we invite any additional views on the possible elements of the work programme and functions and structures of bodies. For more information please go the Consultations page: the consultation closes on 15th March 2012.  CONSULTATION CLOSED


Consultation on Work Programme and Governance Structures


It was agreed at the 1st IPBES Plenary that governments and other international parties should submit views on the possible scope of the Work Programme to the UNEP secretariat by 15 December 2011. To meet this deadline the European Commission, on behalf of Member States, has initiated a consultation process and is seeking views by mid-November 2011.  To support its own position, the UK government is now seeking views from the Stakeholder community via a consultation that will close on 4th November 2011.  For information on how to contribute go to Consultations.  CONSULTATION CLOSED



First IPBES Plenary 3-7 October 2011

The opening session of the first IPBES plenary, held in Nairobi, Kenya concluded on 7 October.  Chaired by Professor Bob Watson, the five day meeting discussed the modalities and institutional arrangements for establishment of an IPBES.  


Significant progress towards the full operationalisation of IPBES was made, with all participants supporting the creation of IPBES and building on the Busan Outcome.


While the legal process of establishing IPBES was deferred to the second session agreement was reached on the functions and principles of IPBES and the process for submitting bids for hosting the secretariat and physical location.  Submission will be considered at the second session.  Functions of the plenary body were also agreed.  Other options for a subsidiary body or scientific advisory body were discussed but options left open.


There was a preliminary exchange of views on the structures of working groups and regional hubs, and issues of the priorities for the work programme. 


The report of the meeting and its annexes (which contain draft text on the functions and operating principles of the platform; functions and structures of bodies that may be established, rules of procedure; criteria for selecting host institutions and physical location of the secretariat; and work programme) were adopted. 


Discussions on the draft texts will resume at the second session of the plenary to be held in the week 16 April 2012, the location is yet to be determined.


Adopted draft text, in-session and official documents

Summary of the first session of the plenary meeting on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service: 3-7 October 2011 (12 pages, 360kb)

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director UN Environmental Programme opening speech 


For more details see the IPBES website


Updated:  17 June 2013