A new National Biodiversity Committee has been formed to represent biodiversity science in the UK. The British Ecological Society hosted a meeting in November last year, with representatives from across the breadth of ecological science and environmental policy, at which it was decided that a National Committee was needed. A number of members of the BES have been selected to join the Committee, which includes academics, representatives of Government and the NGO sector.
The discussion at this meeting focused on how the UK could establish a mechanism to allow biodiversity science to feed into the international DIVERSITAS programme. This will be the primary function of the new committee, alongside providing scientific input into the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). However it is possible that the remit of the National Biodiversity Committee now established could be broader than this; the group is yet to decide upon its terms of reference.
The UK National Biodiversity Committee will report to the Royal Society’s Global Environmental Research Committee (GERC). The GERC promotes and coordinates UK participation in the activities of the global evironmental research programmes and committees organised by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and its component bodies.