Wednesday, May 09, 2012

New Global biodiversity panel launched

Last month a  global science assessment panel for biodiversity, modelled on the International Panel on Climate Change was launched in Panama. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (IPBES)  was agreed by more than 230 government representatives from more than 80 countries.  Its aim is to influence global policy by providing policymakers with scientific assessments on a range of issues affecting environmental sustainability. Specific themes will be decided on in 2013 at the panel's first plenary meeting, but work on reviewing existing assessmentssuch as 2005's global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment — will begin immediately. Anne Larigauderie, executive director of Paris-based international biodiversity research programme DIVERSITAS, told Nature News: "Our community sees this as an extremely important step in order not to waste any time until the first plenary meets".  Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), said: "I hope that this body will allow biodiversity to be better taken into account in sustainable-development strategies, as the IPCC has for climate change over the past 20 years".

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