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  • What is IPBES?IPBES stands for ‘Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’.  IPBES will be an interface between the scientific community and policy makers that aims to build capacity for and strengthen the use of science in policy making.IPBES is a two-way interface between the scientific community and policy makers that aims to bridge the gaps in terms of capacity building for the use of science in policy making.Do we need an IPBES?There are many organizations and initiatives that contribute to the science policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, there is no ongoing global mechanism recognized by both the scientific and policy communities that brings information together and synthesizes and analyses it for decision making in a range of policy fora such as the global environmental conventions and development policy dialogues.A gap analysis and three intergovernmental and multistakeholders meetings convened from 2008-2010 determined the need for a new platform to address the gaps in the science policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services.IPBES is being established to respond to the needs of Governments and other stakeholders, including those needs expressed by the parties to the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). While the process for receiving and responding to requests is yet to be determined, a number of MEAs, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, have all considered IPBES in the context of their respective scientific subsidiary bodies. It is therefore anticipated that these scientific subsidiary bodies might form the main link between MEAs and IPBES in due course: by communicating the scientific needs of MEAs to IPBES, and by being the channel by which the outputs of IPBES might be taken up by MEAs. IPBES will have multiple contributors and end usersIPBES will be of interest to the wide range of stakeholders involved in the fields of biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and development, at all levels. It is expected that these stakeholders will act both as contributors to the work programme of the platform and end users of the platform. IUCN has been a key partner in the development of IPBES
  • Nominations currently being received for bureau and MEP membersMEP structure likely to change to better reflect bioregional composition.
  • 1.The Platform identifies and prioritizes key scientific information needed for policymakers at appropriate scales and catalyses efforts to generate new knowledge by engaging in dialogue with key scientific organizations, policymakers and funding organizations, but should not directly undertake new research;2. The Platform performs regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages, which should include comprehensive global, regional and, as necessary, subregional assessments and thematic issues at appropriate scales and new topics identified by science and as decided upon by the Plenary. These assessments must be scientifically credible, independent and peer-reviewed, and must identify uncertainties. There should be a clear and transparent process for sharing and incorporating relevant data. The Platform maintains a catalogue of relevant assessments, identifies the need for regional and subregional assessments and helps to catalyse support for subregional and national assessments, as appropriate;3.The Platform supports policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies, such as those arising from assessments, to enable decision makers to gain access to those tools and methodologies and, where necessary, to promote and catalyse their further development;4. The Platform prioritizes key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface at appropriate levels and then provides and calls for financial and other support for the highest-priority needs related directly to its activities, as decided by the Plenary, and catalyses financing for such capacity-building activities by providing a forum with conventional and potential sources of funding.
  • IPBES activities and products will of course be determined by the initial work programme to be agreed by the second(?) plenary meeting and also on the prioritisation of requests that IPBES will get but the scope of this work has already been agreed.NB: “Reports”refer to the main IPBES deliverables [including Assessment, Synthesis, Methodology and Special Reports and their Summaries for Policymakers and Overview Chapters

Bob Watson, Tyndall Centre, UEA - #steps13 Bob Watson, Tyndall Centre, UEA - #steps13 Presentation Transcript

  • Translating Sound Science into Sound Policy Bob Watson Strategic Director Tyndall Centre, UEA Sussex University February 7, 2013
  • Outline of Presentation• Key Elements of the Science-Policy Process • National and International Research Programs • National and International Assessments • Science Advisory Committees and Chief Scientific Advisors• Future Earth• Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services• Science and Technology Advisors and Advisory Committees • Advisory Board to the United Nations on Sustainable Development• Conclusions
  • Sound Science into Sound PolicyGood Science is Essential for Informed Public Policy but not SufficientComprehensive natural and social scientific programs at the national level areessential - multi-disciplinary science is criticalCoordination of international scientific programs through Future Earth is essential,e.g., WCRP, IGBP, IHDP, Diversitas and Earth System Science ProgrammesNational and international multi-disciplinary scientific, technical and economicassessments are essential – best experts from all stakeholder groups must be involvedIndigenous knowledge needs to be integrated with “modern scientific knowledge”Effective involvement of decision-makers (governments, private sector, NGOs, mediaand civil society) is essential – co-design and co-productionRecognize that decision-makers need a consensus view in a digestible form of theevidence, including what is known, unknown and uncertainties, and what the policyimplications of uncertainties are
  • Sound Science into Sound PolicyAssessment processes need to be credible, transparent, legitimate and owned byrelevant decision-makers, policy relevant but not prescriptiveThere is a need to understand the needs of society, decision-makers and the politicalcontext of decision-making, and that inter- and intra-generational equity issues arecritically importantThere is a need to recognize the complexity of the socio-political system and politicalrealitiesThere is a need to assess the consequences of action and inactionThere is a need to assess the complementary roles of technologies, policies andbehaviour changeThere is a need to link environmental issues (e.g., climate change, loss ofbiodiversity) to societal needs – food, energy, water and security
  • Assessments: Features for Success Ownership and participation by all relevant stakeholders in the scoping, preparation, peer-review and governance structure  governments, private sector, civil society/non-governmental organizations, scientific community  balanced intellectually (natural and social researchers, economists, technologists)  balanced geographically - participation (developed, developing and economies in transition)  experts are involved in their individual capacity, nominated and chosen by an open and transparent process  utilize traditional and institutional knowledge as appropriate  co-chairs – one each if international – developed and developing country Conduct using an open, transparent, representative and legitimate process, with well defined principles and procedures
  • Assessments: Features for Success Peer-reviewed by all relevant stakeholders  Peer-review comments and author responses open for everybody to review  Review editors to ensure appropriate response by authors Policy-relevant, but not policy prescriptive, presenting options not recommendations Evidence-based, not based on ideological value systems Encompass risk assessment and risk management Present different views Identify areas of certainty, uncertainty and areas of controversy Outreach-communications strategy – starting at the beginning of the process Multi-thematic (environmental, technological, social, economic) Multi-spatial using a consistent framework Multi-temporal, i.e., historical to the future, employing plausible futures Multi-sponsors (maximize stakeholder involvement)
  • International Assessments• International Ozone Assessments (1981-present) – inter-governmental – expert peer-review – highly influential on national and international policy formulation• International Panel on Climate Change (1988-present) – inter-governmental – expert and government peer-review, government approval of the SPMs – influential on national and international policy processes, albeit limited in the US• International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (2004-2008) – Inter-governmental, but with a multi-stakeholder Bureau – expert and government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to global – Impact has been increasing
  • Ecosystem Assessments• Global Biodiversity Assessment (1993-1995) – non-governmental – expert peer-review – limited impact on international policy formulation – lacked the appropriate mandate -- supply-driven not demand driven• Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005) – non-governmental, but tied to intergovernmental processes, e.g., CBD, CCD – broad range of stakeholders on the Board of Directors – expert and “informal” government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to global – Increasing influence on conventions (e.g., CBD) and governments (e.g., UK NEA)
  • Ecosystem Assessments• UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2009-2011) – non-governmental , but commissioned by Government – broad range of stakeholders on the Board – expert and government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to national – Immediate impact on policy – basis of the Natural Environment White Paper for England• Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services • An intergovernmental process • Four pillars of work • Assessments (global, regional and sub-regional) • Research (stimulate not fund) • Capacity-building • Policy-relevant tools • Detailed work program have yet to be established • Established in Panama, 2012
  • An Electronic Web-based Assessment Process• We need an integrated web-based assessment process that recognizes the inter-linkages among all regional and global environmental issues and development issues that is spatially explicit - global, regional and sub- regional level and, where possible, national level• The concept of a web-based electronic assessment process is currently being evaluated, which would for the first time truly integrate and assess the implications of climate change, loss of biodiversity/ecosystem services, land degradation, and air quality on issues such food, water, energy and human security• It would an inter-disciplinary assessment, embracing, inter-alia, the range of issues covered by the IPCC, MA, IPBES, IAASTD, TEEB, the Global energy assessment, and UNEP’s GEO focussing on the inter-linkages
  • Future Earth
  • photos: www.dawide.com Future Earth research for global sustainability  WMO
  • Future Earth: goal To provide the knowledge required for societies in the world:to face risks posed by global environmental change and to seize opportunities in a transition to global sustainability Future Earth will intellectually integrate WCRP, IGBP, IHDP, Diversitas and ESSPs
  • Conceptual framework for Future Earth Global sustainability within Earth system boundaries - Cross scale interactions from local to regional and global scales  14
  • Future Earth: proposed Research Themes Transformation towards Sustainability Global Dynamic Development Planet
  • Proposed Research Themes1 Dynamic Planet: Observing, explaining, understanding, projecting earth, environmental and societal system trends, drivers and processes and their interactions; anticipating global thresholds and risks.2 Global development: Providing the knowledge for sustainable, secure and fair stewardship of food, water, biodiversity, health, energy, materials and other ecosystem functions and services.3 Transformation towards Sustainability: Understanding transformation processes and options, assessing how these relate to human values, emerging technologies and economic development pathways, and evaluating strategies for governing and managing the global environment across sectors and scales. 16
  • Establishing an institutional design for Future Earth Co-design with users Develop distributed knowledge nodes and regional initiatives to address real-world Steering problems at local Committee and regional scales & Office 17
  • The Intergovernmental Platform forBiodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • What is IPBES? • Established in April 2012, Panama City, after years of discussion and negotiation. • An interface between scientific and policy communities
  • IPBES Principles Address terrestrial, Inter- and multidisciplinary marine and inland approach water biodiversity and ecosystem services Gender equity and their interactions Collaboration – Bottom-up avoiding duplication Full participation ofdeveloping countries Scientific Policy-relevant but not independence, policy-prescriptive credibility, Contribution of indigenous relevance and and local knowledge legitimacy
  • IPBES structurePlenary – Decision making body of the PlatformGovernment Members (currently over 100) and observersBureau – Overseeing administrative functions and observers onthe MEP10 members (2 from each UN region)Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) – overseeing scientificand technical functions25 members ( 5 from each UN region)
  • What will IPBES do? Four main functions • Knowledge generation • Regular and timely assessments • Support policy formulation and implementation • Capacity building
  • Potential activities in the area of assessments• Regular multidisciplinary assessments at regional (including sub-regional) and global scales.• Thematic assessments on policy relevant issues, including emerging issues• Technical support and capacity building for national assessment activities• Developing common conceptual frameworks and tools for assessment• Catalogue of assessments
  • Potential activities in the area of policy support • Overview of policy-relevant knowledge, tools and methodologies • Partnerships to develop priority tools and approaches • Promotion of effective tools through communication and capacity building • Policy-relevant (eg sector specific) knowledge syntheses
  • Potential capacity building activities • Maintain a list of CB needs • Specific workshops and training on assessment approaches • Increasing access to data, information and knowledge for use in assessment • Scholarships, fellowship programme, mentoring • Peer to peer exchange visits • Regional hubs supporting assessment and peer learning
  • Potential activities on knowledge generation • Identifying and communicating gaps in knowledge – including from assessments • Convening research and donor communities to agree on policy-relevant research priorities • Supporting peer learning and networks to strengthen generation of policy-relevant research
  • Progress at First PlenaryElected Bureau members – chair (Dr. Zakri), vice-chairs andother membersElected members of the Multi-disciplinary Expert Panel (MEP)Significant progress on finalizing Rules of ProcedureAgreed on a inter-sessional work programAgreed UNEP will provide the Administrative functions of thesecretariat, and developing roles for UNDP, UNESCO andUNDP
  • Outstanding decisionsAgree on a detailed work programAgree on the spatial structure for regional and sub-regionalassessmentsAgree on a Conceptual Framework that operates over a rangeof spatial and temporal scales and can include different types ofknowledgeDecide whether to have regional or thematic hubsDecide whether the IPBES should be transformed into a UNbody
  • Potential IPBES Conceptual Framework
  • Science and Technology Advisors and Committees
  • Scientific Advisors and Scientific Advisory Committees UK system of “independent” CSAs for each Government Department working in a highly collegial and integrated manner is a model that should be replicated by other Governments Government Departments should also have independent multi- disciplinary Science Advisory Committees Each Government should have a Science and Technology Advisor and Science and Technology Advisory Committee, ala, the UK and US The establishment of a multi-disciplinary Science Advisory Board for Sustainable Development to the Secretary-General of the United Nations is a very positive step to strengthen the science-policy interface within the UN system
  • Conclusions The science-policy interface requires:  strong national and international trans-disciplinary research programs  trans-disciplinary national, regional and global assessments  independent scientific advisors and advisory committees Co-design and co-production involving all relevant stakeholders is vital, ensuring policy-relevance
  • Conclusions The science-policy interface requires:  strong national and international trans-disciplinary research programs  trans-disciplinary national, regional and global assessments  independent scientific advisors and advisory committees Co-design and co-production involving all relevant stakeholders is vital, ensuring policy-relevance