The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), also known as the World Biodiversity Council, is a scientific body set up in 2012 by the United Nations. IPBES’s objective is to provide decision-makers and civil society with well-founded scientific information about the state and development of biodiversity and its ecosystem services.

To successfully address the causes of biodiversity loss, policies and measures need to be scientifically substantiated. IPBES is considered the leading independent trusted source of sound multidisciplinary science on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Its role is therefore crucial as a basis for political decision-makers at national and international level.

IPBES is composed of member states, experts and observers (e.g. UN institutions, universities, research institutes). It currently has 139 member states, including Switzerland. Member states take part in IPBES plenary meetings and decide on IPBES's strategy and work programme. Governments nominate scientists as experts to serve in short-term expert groups and contribute to the work of IPBES as authors. Numerous Swiss researchers are involved as experts in the preparation of IPBES reports. Switzerland is also represented on the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel by a researcher from the University of Bern.

IPBES provides fact-based, objective and policy-relevant information through its scientifically rigorous reports. In 2019, the IPBES Plenary meeting approved the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services, which is based on four regional evaluation reports. The technical lead for preparing the Europe and Central Asia regional report was based at the University of Bern and was financially supported by Switzerland.

IPBES's global report describes the important role of biodiversity for the quality of life of people worldwide and documents the loss of biodiversity over the past 50 years. The main reasons for the decline in biodiversity are the overuse of natural resources, climate change, environmental pollution and invasive alien (non-native) species. The report is the most comprehensive global assessment of the state of biodiversity and ecosystem services to date and has far-reaching significance for the further development of national and international biodiversity policy.

The global report also forms the scientific basis for international biodiversity-related agreements together with other IPBES thematic reports. IPBES has also contributed to the adoption of the new Kunming–Montreal Global Framework for Biodiversity.

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Last modification 11.04.2023

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