IPBES


Pollination and Land Degradation: Top Priorities for New Intergovernmental Body
IPBES Press Release, 14 December 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY: The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), held from 9-14 December 2013, in Antalya, Turkey, concluded with the adoption of the Antalya Consensus, a set of decisions detailing: the Platform’s work programme, for 2014-2018, including fast track, thematic, regional and sub-regional assessments and activities for building capacities; a conceptual framework that considers different knowledge systems; and rules and procedures for the Platform on, inter alia, the nomination of future Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) members and procedures for the preparation of the Platform’s deliverables, and relationship with the UN. The meeting agreed to develop a set of assessments on pollination and food production, land degradation and invasive species meant to support the science behind policy making. It also established a task force on indigenous and local knowledge systems led by the MEP in consultation with the Bureau, and adopted its terms of reference; and requested the MEP and the Bureau to develop draft procedures for and approaches to working with indigenous and local knowledge systems, and to establish in 2014 a roster and network of experts and a participatory mechanism for working with various knowledge systems. Read the IPBES press release … Read the IISD RS daily and summary reports of the meeting …

Following tradition: Top examples of indigenous knowledge preserving biodiversity, ecosystem services
Phys.org, 9 December 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY: With the planet losing species 100 to 1,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, international experts assembling for high-level global biodiversity meetings say knowledge co-production with indigenous peoples has growing importance. Building synergies between science and traditional knowledge forms one focus of delegates meeting in Antalya, Turkey, from 9-14 December, charged with determining a conceptual framework and initial work program for the UN’s new Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Available from almost every world region, lessons for ecosystem and natural resource management in indigenous and local knowledge include: the rice-fish co-culture, a farming technique for over 1,200 years in south China, which was recently designated a “globally-important agricultural heritage system” by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; indigenous fire management techniques developed thousands of years ago, used to protect large landscapes in Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Venezuela; animal herd management in the Arctic, where remote satellite sensing, meteorology and modelling are complemented with the indigenous knowledge of Sami and Nenets reindeer herders to co-produce datasets; rotational farming, traditional cropping strategies and access to seeds, which have proved essential for adaptation and survival; sophisticated rainwater harvesting techniques; and sustainable management of marine resources, as practiced by many Pacific island communities, which traditionally involves the use of area and time-based restrictions to facilitate marine resource recovery. Read the release … Read a related article on Reuters … Follow the IISD Reporting Services coverage of IPBES-2 …

Working with Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – An Analysis of Selected Case Studies from WWF Projects Worldwide as a Contribution to IPBES-2
WWF, 2013

The case studies assembled in this publication illustrate how indigenous and local knowledge is applied in biodiversity monitoring and management of protected areas all over the world, testifying to the potential of their inclusion in building synergies among diverse knowledge systems. To inform the IPBES process, an outline of principles for engagement with indigenous and local knowledge-holders is suggested, inspired by relevant examples from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Furthermore, WWF presents its experiences with methodologies for participatory biodiversity assessments that are characterized by a strong sense of ownership by indigenous and local knowledge-holders. In order to build synergies among knowledge systems for the benefit of biodiversity conservation, these tools enable knowledge collaborators to jointly formulate research questions, choose data gathering methods, and work together in interpreting the results in order to draw policy-relevant conclusions for the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Download the report [pdf] …

Second Meeting of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
9-14 December 2013 (Antalya, Turkey)

The second meeting of the IPBES Plenary will consider, among several organizational, institutional and financial items, the initial work programme of the Platform 2014-2018 and its stakeholder engagement strategy, including with indigenous peoples and local communities. Among the meeting’s information documents is the report from the expert workshop on indigenous and local knowledge systems to IPBES, held in Tokyo in June 2013, and initial elements for an approach towards principles and procedures for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems proposed for use by the IPBES. Visit the meeting’s webpage, including links to working documents … Follow the meeting’s coverage by IISD Reporting Services …

International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on the Contribution of Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES: Building Synergies with Science
9-11 June 2013 (Tokyo, Japan)

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has released the report of the international expert and stakeholder workshop on the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge systems to IPBES. The workshop was convened by the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, co-organized by the United Nations University (UNU) and UNESCO, and hosted by Japan’s Ministry of Environment. The report summarizes discussions on opportunities, challenges and needs with respect to indigenous and local knowledge in the IPBES framework, and identifies appropriate procedures and approaches for creating synergies between science and indigenous and local knowledge in regard to four themes: rethinking relationships between science and indigenous and local knowledge; fundamental aspects of indigenous and local knowledge; principles for engagement with holders of indigenous and local knowledge; and capacity-building needs. The report notes consensus among experts at the workshop that substantial effort is needed to satisfy the IPBES Work Programme objective to develop an adequate and comprehensive set of principles and procedures for building synergies between knowledge systems. Recommendations focus on approaches and procedures for working with indigenous and local knowledge in the IPBES framework, as well as an IPBES conceptual framework itself. In regard to approaches and procedures, recommendations include recognizing indigenous peoples and local communities as having a distinct status as knowledge-holders and rights-holders; putting in place mechanisms to ensure attention to gender-specific knowledge and gender balance; establishing a working group composed of indigenous and local knowledge-holders and scientists; and using a wide variety of media, languages, forums and communication processes to maximize participation and learning from indigenous and local knowledge-holders. The report will be presented for further consideration at the second session of the IPBES Plenary, to be held from 9-14 December 2013, in Antalya, Turkey. Visit the workshop’s webpage … Download the report [pdf] …

Amplifying the voices of indigenous communities
SciDev.Net, 8 August 2013

LONDON, UK: The UNESCO LINKS programme brings together the sophisticated and often ancient natural world knowledge held by local and indigenous societies across the globe. Unlocking these unique ways of knowing — including environmental knowledge, philosophy, resource use practice, and ritual  — is fundamental to driving development that is both sustainable and appropriate. Douglas Nakashima, section chief of UNESCO LINKS (Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems), argues that the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) should not “reinvent the wheel” but instead recognize and build upon the invaluable networks that have been created to engage traditional knowledge holders — from the unique whale migration insights of the Iñupiaq people in the northwest Arctic, to marine science understanding developed over centuries by communities in the Pacific Islands. Read the article …

International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop: The Contribution of Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES: building synergies with science
9-11 June 2013 (Tokyo, Japan)

Convened by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), co-organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and UNESCO, and hosted by UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace, this workshop was part of the ongoing intersessional process leading up to the second session of the IPBES plenary, scheduled for 9-14 December 2013, in Antalya, Turkey. It gathered over 30 academics and experts from around the world, with the aim to: examine and identify procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems in the framework of IPBES; and review and assess possible conceptual frameworks for the work of IPBES that are based on or accommodate indigenous and local knowledge systems and worldviews.

In his opening remarks, IPBES Chair Professor Zakri highlighted that responding to the biodiversity crisis requires sound leadership and policies, which, in turn, require sound science. He noted that IPBES is designed to reduce the gulf between the wealth of scientific knowledge on declining biodiversity and its services, and knowledge about effective action to reverse these damaging trends, while the workshop’s responsibility is to develop a process that ensures the scientific and policy communities recognize, consider and accommodate indigenous and local knowledge in the framework of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Highlighting the interaction between scientific and technical authors with indigenous experts on the soon-to-be-released IPCC fifth assessment report on climate change, he noted the exchange of knowledge is truly inspiring, adding that traditional knowledge has a long history of sustainable management practices but also boasts great innovations and solutions to global problems. Further information on the workshop … Download the workshop’s agenda [pdf] … Download Professor Zakri’s opening remarks [doc] … Visit the IPBES website …