Seventh Plenary of IPBES Meets in Paris

Bonn/Paris 29 April 2019 – the seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES7) is meeting in Paris from 29 April to 4 May.

Major issues on the agenda of IPBES7 include the release of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, consideration of the outcome of the external review of IPBES, and adoption of a second work programme covering the period up to 2030.

As an input to the work programme, CMS, together with other Agreements of its Family, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the World Heritage Convention, submitted proposals for an assessment to be carried out on the topic of connectivity conservation.

In respect of this, Fernando Spina, the Chair of the CMS Scientific Council, who serves as an observer to the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP), masterminded two workshops promoting the concept of connectivity, which resulted in the adoption of a dedicated resolution by the Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS in 2017.

“Connectivity is the keyword of animal migration. Connectivity mediated by migratory animals is the best proof that the planet is in fact a single ecosystem. But beyond the ecological, seasonal and functional aspects, connectivity is the reason why different countries sharing the same populations of migratory animals are connected by their responsibilities for environmental policies. The sharing of the same individuals and populations among different countries calls for the absolute need for common environmental policies if migratory animals are to be preserved for their intrinsic value as well as for their key role in ensuring functional ecosystems on which we ourselves rely.”

Fernando Spina, Chair of the CMS Scientific Council

The proposed assessment therefore intends to explore various aspects of connectivity and its role in ensuring the integrity and resilience of socio-ecological systems.  Such a proposal was endorsed by last year’s meeting of the CMS Standing Committee, where Parties recognized the importance of connectivity to species conservation.

“Migratory species are a cherished part of our natural heritage and millions of people world wide depend on this regular migration for their income and subsistence. In addition to sustainable management of the species, it is also fundamental to secure suitable habitats and corridors along the species' migration routes. The Standing Commitee of CMS has therefore supported this request for an assessment of the current needs and sufficiency of connectivity conservation.”

Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the CMS Standing Committee

IPBES7 will adopt a rolling programme of work, after having considered the recommendations of the MEP and the IPBES Bureau concerning all submissions received.

It is hoped that inputs such as the one on connectivity, which have been submitted by various biodiversity-related treaties and whose results would benefit several processes, will receive special attention in the Plenary’s deliberations.

In line with the recommendations emerging from the external review of IPBES, it is also hoped that the policy relevance and actionability of future assessments can be improved. Areas for improvement could be the design and production process with a view to ensuring better coverage of individual components of biodiversity and ecosystems.

With 130 Member Governments, IPBES is the global body that, in response to requests from Member States and other stakeholders, assesses the state of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people and outlines options for the future based on different socio-economic choices.  Its mission is to strengthen policy and decisions through science, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.

Last updated on 29 April 2019