The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)


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Members of the IPBES review panel


A call for nominations for members of the review panel, to conduct the external element of the first review of IPBES, submissions by 2 January 2018.

The members of the panel will be selected in response to these criteria  by the Bureau in consultation with the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel. In addition, candidates should be made aware that this work will represent a significant involvement, estimated to be around 20% of their time, for the period March 2018-May 2019, including attending three to four meetings between March 2018 and May 2019. IPBES will provide financial support to cover travel expenses of all members of the review panel, but will not provide any honorarium.

The review panel will receive the administrative support of a professional organisation, which is being recruited through a separate call.

Candidates should fill in the online application form Once candidates have submitted their information, the focal point of the nominating IPBES member or organisation will be notified and required to finalise the nomination on behalf of the IPBES member government or organisation through the online system. IPBES members and stakeholders are asked to kindly forward the link to the online system  to the candidates they would like to nominate.

The deadline for nominations is 2 January 2018.



Co-ordination of the external element of the IPBES review

IPBES has requested expressions of interest from organisations  interested in co-ordinating the external element of the first review of IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

The IPBES Plenary, at its 5th session (March 2017) approved terms of reference for the review of IPBES at the end of its first work programme (Decision IPBES-5/2). The external element of the review will begin in March 2018, subject to the availability of funds, with the sixth session of the IPBES Plenary, and end in May 2019, at the seventh session of the Plenary.

The review will evaluate:
   (a) Implementation of the four functions of IPBES;
   (b) Application of the operating principles of IPBES;
   (c) Effectiveness of the procedures for the development of IPBES deliverables;
   (d) Effectiveness of the institutional arrangements of IPBES;
   (e) Effectiveness of the IPBES task forces and expert groups;
   (f)  Effectiveness of the implementation of the financial and budgetary arrangements;
   (g) Effectiveness of processes for stakeholder engagement and communication.

The review will be used as the basis for the development of a second work programme for IPBES with lessons learned from the implementation of the first work programme and recommendations that will enable IPBES to strengthen implementation of its four functions and, ultimately, its effectiveness as a science-policy interface.

The external element of the review will be conducted by a review panel comprising up to 10 reviewers, which is the object of a parallel call (EM/2017/31). The review will be coordinated by the external professional organization, which is the object of this call.

The external professional organisation should meet the following criteria:
   (a) Relevant qualifications to conduct institutional reviews at the global level;
   (b) Demonstrated track record in working with science-policy interfaces and in understanding the roles and functions of a global environmental assessment process in general and of IPBES, in particular.
The Plenary, at its 5th session, approved an estimated budget  for the coordination of the review (see annex to Decision IPBES-5/2), but the availability of funds is subject to the approval of the revised 2018 budget for IPBES at the 6th session of the Plenary in March 2018. The amount of $63,160 corresponding to administrative support to the review would be made available to the professional organisation to cover its administrative costs for the review.

The review period would begin at the 6th session of the Plenary in March 2018 and end at its 7th session in May 2019.

Organisations are requested to express their interest by 2 January 2018 by filling in the online application form, indicating relevant qualifications of the organisation, its plans for supporting the review as well as a detailed plan on how the funds, if approved by the sixth session of the Plenary, would be used ($63,170). IPBES members and stakeholders are invited to forward this call to any qualified organizations.


Upcoming Events and Opportunities

(see below for more information)

Deliverable 2(b)

Regional Assessments of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services:

America Assessment

Second Order Draft Consultations


29 May - 24 July 2017


Deliverable 2(c)

Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

First Order Draft Consultation


15 June - 15 August 2017


Visit the Archive page for information on past opportunities


Completed Assessments

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




Consultation on Second Order Draft (SODs) and Summary for Policy Makers of the Regional Assessments


The SODs and Summaries for Policy Makers of the Regional Assessments of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe and Central Asia and the Thematic Assessment of Land Degradation and Restoration expert consultations ran until 26 June 2017. The Americas Assessment consultation period runs from 29 May - 24 July. To take part in the consultation, create an account on the IPBES website and sign up to the review process.


Second Order Draft Consultations are fundamental to ensuring the scientific credibility and accuracy of the IPBES process and outputs and we would encourage you to review these releases. Outline structures of the Regional Assessments and the Land Degradation Assessment are available - contact us here for more information. 


We encourage you to contribute to the reviews by sending your responses directly to the Secretariat. If you think your comments would be useful for developing the UK’s official response please send it to us here at JNCC as we will be working directly with Defra on the response. Note that IPBES will only accept comments in the spreadsheet template provided on the IPBES website.



First Order Draft Consultation on Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services FOD consultation runs from 15 June - 15 August and experts are sought to review and provide comment on the assessment. The assessment assesses 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.


To sign up to review the global assessment, follow these steps:

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 requested to submit your comments in English using a template that is available on the same webpage.



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