The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is meeting at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris between 29 April and 4 May. The objective is to finalise the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Over a period of three years, 150 international experts from 50 countries have developed a new decisive global summary on the state of nature, ecosystems and services provided by nature to populations.

This is the first assessment of its kind since the “Millenium Ecosystem Assessment” was published in 2005. It is also the very first intergovernmental assessment to have been conducted. The summary will be presented during the seventh session of the IPBES in Paris to the representatives of 130 states, who will examine and discuss it in view of its approval and publication on 6 May.

This summary will provide a global overview of where the world stands in terms of biodiversity conservation in relation to key international objectives, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It presents the causes of changes affecting biodiversity and ecosystems, the consequences for populations, political options and possible pathways for the next three decades if current trends persist, as well as alternative scenarios.

IRD researchers in action

Biodiversity conservation is a scientific priority for the IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) involving many IRD researchers and partners, who conduct research programmes in order to better understand how ecosystems and their interactions function, specify the impacts of global changes on biodiversity and propose actions to better protect it.

The Institute’s researchers were involved in preparing the global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Yunne Shin, a marine biologist at the Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation (MARBEC) laboratory, coordinated Chapter 4 of the assessment, entitled “Plausible futures of nature, its contributions to people and their good quality of life”. Thierry Oberdorff, an ecologist at Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB), also contributed to this chapter, as the main author of the part dedicated to fresh water ecosystems.

A delegation of IRD researchers are attending the seventh session of the IPBES.

Steps for a change : no small steps 

On the 29th April 2019, the 7th Plenary session of IPBES opens at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris with an emotional dance performance by a youth group of the “Les Arts en Scène” dance school from Montpellier titled “Steps for a Change”. Through six dance sequences (oceans, coral reefs, deep seas, invasive species, desertification, restoration of natural areas), the dancers aged between 7 and 13 carry a message : the urgency to act in the face of global changes impacting biodiversity. At the interface between science, art and politics, Steps for a change is a creation by Emily Lartillot (dance teacher and choreographer) and Yunne Shin (IRD marine ecologist, and coordinating author of the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). Steps for a change was realized in partnership with IPBES, IRD, UNESCO, FRB, MARBEC, University of Montpellier, CeMEB, EuroMarine and CERES.