The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)


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Upcoming Events and Opportunities

(see below for more information)

Global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Second Order Draft Consultations


 Deadline: 29 June 2018 (Chapters), 09 July 2018 (SPM)


Methodological assessment on values and the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species.

Nominations of Experts

Nominations of Fellows


Deadline: 01 June 2018 - Experts

Deadline: 08 June 2018 - Fellows


Methodological assessment on values; the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species; or the thematic assessment of invasive alien species

Request for offers to host a technical support unit (TSU)


Deadline: 16 May 2018




Visit the Archive page for information on past opportunities

Completed Assessments

Summary for Policy Makers of the four regional assessments and the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration



Approved at IPBES-6 Plenary March 2018

Deliverable 3(a)

Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production



Approved at IPBES-4 Plenary February 2016


Deliverable 3(c)

Methodological Assessment of Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services


Approved at IPBES-4 Plenary February 2016



Second Review by Governments and Experts Now Open for the IPBES Global Assessment 


The IPBES global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services will be the first global snapshot of the state of the world’s biodiversity in more than a decade, since the release of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

The overall scope of the assessment is to assess the status and trends with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services, the impact of biodiversity and ecosystem services on human well-being and the effectiveness of responses, including the Strategic Plan and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It is anticipated that this deliverable will contribute to the process for the evaluation and renewal of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.


Application process

If you would like to be an expert reviewer for the global assessment then please contact the IPBES Secretariat directly by following the steps given below.

1) Register as user of the IPBES website ( if you have not already done so.
2) Apply to become an IPBES external reviewer for individual chapters of the global assessment at (this will only work when logged in first as IPBES website user).
3) Once registered, you will immediately receive an email providing confidential access to the draft chapters and will be rrequested to submit your comments in English using a template that is available on the same webpage.

The deadline for the chapters is 29 June 2018 and the deadline for the summary for policy makers is 09 July 2018.

If you would also like your comments to be included in the UK government response please email them to in the spreadsheet template provided. We need your comments by 22nd June 2018 in order to be included.

Scope of the three new assessments approved at IPBES-6

Following IPBES-6 in Medellin three assessments were approved by the Plenary to initiate in 2018 and 2019.

The Plenary in decision IPBES-6/1 approved:

·         the undertaking of a methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, hereafter referred to as “the assessment on values”, following IPBES-6, for consideration by the Plenary at IPBES-9 (section VI, para 3);

·         the undertaking of a thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species following IPBES-6, for consideration by the Plenary by no later than IPBES-10 (section V, para 2);

·         the undertaking of a thematic assessment of invasive alien species, following IPBES-7, for consideration by the Plenary at IPBES-10 (section V, para 3).

Call for nomination of experts for two new IPBES assessments


Governments and other relevant stakeholders are invited to nominate experts for the assessment on values and the assessment of the sustainable use of wild species.

Expertise of candidates should match the needs of one of the two assessments, and be in line with the themes and skills required in the chapters of their respective scoping documents. Details of where to access these are in the document attached to this email.

Nominated experts should have expertise in one or more disciplines of natural science, social science or the humanities, be indigenous and local knowledge experts or have expertise in indigenous and local knowledge systems, or be policy experts and practitioners. All nominees should have experience in working within interdisciplinary, international and/or global contexts.

Nominated experts must be able to commit c.20% of their time to delivering the assessment over 3 years, with support from their institutions

All nominated experts need to be available to attend their respective assessment’s first author meeting, which are scheduled as follows (venues for these meetings will be communicated in due course):

 Assessment on values: 10-14 September 2018;

 Assessment of sustainable use of wild species: 24-28 September 2018.


Application process

  1. Nominees are invited to fill out the application form and attach their curriculum vitae through the dedicated web portal (To access this page, you will need to log in with your IPBES web site login credentials or Nominees not yet registered on the IPBES web site will need to do so by clicking on the "Create new account".)
  2. The nominating government or organization (Nominator) indicated by the Nominee will receive an email with a link to the nomination form and will be invited to approve and submit the nominations in the web portal.
  3. Nominators and Nominees will receive a confirmation via email once the nomination has been duly submitted.

This form includes a section titled “Details of Government/Organisation supporting your nomination”: Nominations can either be supported by government members of IPBES, or another stakeholder.  If you wish for Defra to support your nomination, you should complete Section B as follows:


·         Type of nomination body: Government

·         Name of country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

·         Position of contact person: UK IPBES National Focal Point

·         Full name (nominator): Natasha Lewis

·         E-mail (nominator):


Your nomination will then be reviewed to ensure relevant experience and endorsed by Defra for onward transmission to the IPBES Secretariat.  Once your nomination has been endorsed, you will receive an automated confirmation.

All UK nominated experts selected by the MEP to assist in delivering of the IPBES work programme should try and identify their own sources of funding in order to attend IPBES meetings.  Defra has access to a limited resource to support attendance at IPBES meetings in 2018/19, and requests for funding should be made only where engagement is dependent on this support: Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis (per meeting), and funding cannot be guaranteed for every meeting or for onwards years.  If applying for financial support to attend meetings, experts will need to set out what other sources of funding have bene considered. 

The deadline for filling out application forms is 1st June 2018. Experts will be informed of their selection in July 2018.

Call for nomination of fellows for two new IPBES assessments


In addition to the Experts referred to above, governments and relevant institutions and organisations have been invited to nominate Fellows to participate in these assessments.

The fellowship programme is targeted at early career experts who wish to gain experience by participating in the work of IPBES. More information can be found of the IPBES Fellowship Programme can be found here.

The same process to nomination of experts, funding and availability for meetings referred to above apply, however, the deadline for filling out application forms is the 8th June 2018.

Offers to host technical support units for three new IPBES assessments


The secretariat is issuing an open call for expressions of interest to provide technical support units (TSUs) for:

·         the methodological assessment on values;

·         the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species; or

·         the thematic assessment of invasive alien species.

Application process

Governments or organisations interested in providing one of these technical support units are invited to send their offer, using the template provided here, to the Secretariat at by 16th May 2018.

The offer should include specific information on:

·         the assessment for which the offer is being made;

·         background and relevance of the hosting institution to the assessment;

·         the administration and staffing of the technical support unit;

·         funding arrangements, including a budget detailing how the IPBES dedicated funds and the matching in-kind contribution from the host institution will be used.

The technical support units will be selected during the week of 25-29 June 2018.


Report from IPBES 5 held in March in Bonn, Germany

Sir Bob Watson, IPBES Chair UK Delegation to IPBES


The fifth meeting of IPBES members was held in Bonn between 7-10 March. 100 countries (of the 123 members) were represented and many other countries and organisations were present as observers.


The meeting covered a range of subjects (on which more below) all of which were overshadowed by the need to continue on-going and new work under severe budgetary constraints. Eventually a budget of $8.7m matched with current balance and anticipated income for 2017 was agreed, albeit with significant savings from planned activities in the work programme and reluctant acceptance that no new assessments could be started this year; although this might be pragmatic given the availability of experts whilst six major assessments are on-going.


For the European Union the meeting concluded with them having enhanced status allowing fuller participation in IPBES. The Commission has indicated that enhanced status would enable them, subject to approval by the Horizon 2020 Programme Committee, to provide funding on a similar basis to IPCC - potentially €4m, over 4 years. But they were not able to make a pledge to the Trust Fund at this plenary.


Most of the meeting saw participants divided into two working groups. Working Group one spent considerable time discussing the approach for recognising and working with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) within the platform. This was a long, complex and technical discussion with potential wider implications.  The approach includes a ‘participatory mechanism’ including a roster of experts and dialogue meetings, subject to available resources.  The most difficult issue was the handling of consent from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) to use ILK within IPBES activities including a reference to free prior informed consent.  Working Group One also negotiated the terms of reference for the first review of effectiveness of the procedures of the platform, including establishment of an external review, though this was also deferred until necessary funding is available.


In Working Group 2 there were protracted negotiations on the scope of the proposed thematic assessment on sustainable use of wild species. The Thursday evening session finished at 1.00am. Attempts were made to limit the scope of the assessment and eventually wording was found that would allow the experts undertaking the assessment to determine a pragmatic approach to the number of taxa and the frequency of use of wild species to make the work manageable. The scope will cover some species from all biomes including marine. Although the scope was agreed, the timing for initiation of the review was subject to available resources.  There were also inconclusive discussions on the respective priorities and timing for the two other pending assessments on valuation and invasive alien species. Most developing countries favoured an assessment on sustainable use. There was a commitment to review the scope and give priority to initiate these pending assessments in the work programme when funding is available. The work on capacity building was widely accepted and the decisions were quickly agreed but these are also subject to available funding. A third forum on capacity building was deferred.


Plenary also accepted the use of the term ‘nature’s contributions to people (NCP)’ as a more universally accepted term for ecosystem services or nature’s benefits (noting that nature’s contributions could be negative as a well as positive). See under information documents number 24 for further information.


The UK pledged £150k in 2017 and 2018 to the voluntary Trust Fund (retaining some flexibility for additional ‘in-kind’ support).

For another view on IPBES 5 please see

For a quick refresher on what IPBES does, see this video:




In 2012 the world’s governments agreed to establish the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a mechanism for strengthening the global science-policy interface (SPI) for biodiversity and ecosystem services. SPIs are aimed at people in science and/or policy interested in engaging with the ’other’ community. People link up to communicate, exchange ideas, and jointly develop knowledge for enhancing policy and decision-making processes and research. This involves exchanging information and knowledge leading to learning and ultimately to changed behaviour - doing something different as a result of the learning.


IPBES members are committed to building the platform as the leading intergovernmental body for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to society.


IPBES responds to requests for scientific information related to biodiversity and ecosystem services from Governments, relevant multilateral environmental agreements and United Nations bodies, as well as other relevant stakeholders. The work IPBES carries out includes:

  • identifying and prioritising key scientific information needed for policymakers;
  • cataloguing and critically reviewing assessments relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • supporting policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies; and
  • identifying key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface.


Click to enlarge IPBES hierarchical diagram


For a larger version of this diagram, download as a PDF




The UK government pledged £2 million, from Defra and DfID, from 2011-2015 to help support IPBES, with Defra making further pledges to  support the 2016-2017 work programme. JNCC’s role is supporting Defra in achieving a pragmatic evidence-based approach to IPBES and its work building on existing initiatives, and by facilitating efficient engagement with the UK biodiversity science and policy communities. JNCC brings together UK and European experts on globally important work on biodiversity and ecosystem services through the delivery of the UK IPBES Stakeholder Hub. Working in partnership with Defra, JNCC shape the work of IPBES and support UK experts in their contributions to IPBES assessments, covering a diverse range of topics from land degradation and restoration, to scenarios and modelling. 


Defra and JNCC represent the UK’s interests at the annual IPBES Plenary as well as at the extensive programme of stakeholder meetings and workshops supported by experts in the biodiversity and ecosystem service field. Defra and JNCC are also responsible for reviewing IPBES papers and assessments, and organising meetings to engage UK experts and stakeholders.



IPBES eLearning Module

An IPBES eLearning module, is available to help assessment practitioners, from sub-national to global scales, understand and apply the IPBES conceptual framework within the context of a national or IPBES assessment (global, regional, thematic, methodological). It comprises three 30-40 minute lessons and can be used on desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as offline.



IPBES Webinars

The webinar series is produced by the IPBES Secretariat to build capacity for those involved in or interested in IPBES. It provides information on IPBES' processes and outputs.

  1. Webinar 1: The IPBES Assessment Process
  2. Webinar 2: The Conceptual Framework
  3. Webinar 3: The IPBES Pollination Report outcomes and lessons learnt
  4. Webinar 4: Guide relating to varied conceptualizations of value