Dear Stakeholder Forum on IPBES,
I trust this message finds you well and you have had a great start to the new year 2014!
As some of you may know, a few developments have taken place, since we were last in touch from the Second IPBES Plenary Meeting (IPBES-2), held in December 2013, Antalya, Turkey:
IPBES work programme adopted
In December 2013 at IPBES-2, IPBES Member Governments agreed on the IPBES first work programme and $43.3m budget for 2014-2018. It aims at addressing the capacity and knowledge needs ($5.7m 2014-2018 allocation), providing sub-regional to global assessments on the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services, threats, drivers, and methods ($16.8m), and communicating the results of the platform to inform policy and practice ($1.8m). In particular, the immediate activities include developing a set of assessments on pollination and food production, land degradation and invasive species aimed at providing policymakers with the tools to tackle pressing environmental challenges. For details, please refer to the advance English version of the IPBES-2 meeting report and decisions adopted in December 2013, available here.
IPBES call for expert nominations launched
In January 2014, the IPBES Chair Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid issued the first call for nominations of experts through IPBES member governments and other relevant stakeholders to participate in a number of task forces and expert groups for the implementation of the work programme, as well as providing offers for technical support units for the Platform’s deliverables. Responses are due 28 February 2014 (see the notification here and further guidance here). More opportunities are coming up towards the end of March 2014, with a deadline for nominations in June 2014.
IPBES stakeholder engagement processes
A set of procedures agreed in Antalya for implementation of the IPBES work plan, allows for minimal direct participation of civil society. There are a few options for direct nomination of experts (non-governmental nominations cannot exceed 20% of the selected experts) and review of the reports. A stakeholder engagement strategy, designed to involve a wide range of groups in the Platform’s work was not discussed at IPBES-2 and its adoption postponed (you can find some reflections in this regard, in a recent blog post here).
Nevertheless, during IPBES-2, a group of 100+ IPBES knowledge holders from various organizations and networks have pledged their continued support to help IPBES deliver its first work programme. It is a very ambitious one and will need all possible help, including yours, to make it success.
Next steps for a unified stakeholder engagement in IPBES
Following stakeholders discussions at IPBES-2 (see here) and reinforcing broad stakeholders’ offer to assist and propose concrete actions for IPBES success (see here), an open, self-organized IPBES Engagement Forum (hosted on Google Groups) has been set up by a group of volunteers from various organizations and networks of IPBES knowledge holders. It aims at facilitating broad access to information on IPBES in 2014 and beyond.
To consolidate these efforts, we have decided to unite Stakeholder Forum on IPBES with the new “IPBES Engagement Forum”. We hope this will strengthen your continued access to information and engagement in various IPBES processes, as IPBES now moves from its set-up phase to actual work.
How it will work
In the coming days, we are planning to merge the two forums (transferring the content and membership) into one consolidated “IPBES Engagement Forum” and will notify you once it’s completed.
As of then, you will receive future e-mail updates labelled as [IPBES Engagement Forum] in the subject line. The forum will work the same way as you are used to before. The new forum’s email will now be ipbes-engag...@googlegroups.com (instead of all_fo...@googlegroups.com) and all the groups’ content (including the archive of Stakeholder Forum on IPBES) will now be available on the ”IPBES Engagement Forum” web page online: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/ipbes-engagement-forum.
Please kindly note that, once the two forums are merged, the Stakeholder Forum on IPBES email all_fo...@googlegroups.com and web page online https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/all_for_ipbes will no longer be functional.
Anyone interested is welcome to join the open volunteer moderator group of “IPBES Engagement Forum” by writing to the forum’s email mentioned above and indicating “Request to become a moderator” in the subject line; for more information, please consult the Forum’s web page mentioned above or see the invitation attached. Please, feel free to share it broadly within your networks.
We thank you very much for your involvement in the Stakeholder Forum on IPBES over the last years and looking forward to fruitful discussion with all of you on the new consolidated “IPBES Engagement Forum”, from now on.
Should you, for any reason, no longer wish to be part of the group, you can opt out (unsubscribe) at any time before or after the forums’ unification process. We are, of course, looking forward to your continued engagement.
On behalf of the Stakeholder Forum on IPBES team,