Global panel on biodiversity to be formed

Last week and international meeting of UN delegates gave the ‘green light’ to a global panel on ecosystem services and biodiversity.

The Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), expected to be formally endorsed in 2011, is likely to modelled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of the main roles of the IPBES will be to conduct peer reviews of scientific literature in order to provide governments with ‘gold standards’ reports, and to assess appropriate government responses.

The formation of the IPBES has been hailed as a “major breakthrough” by the executive director of the UN Environment Programme, Achim Steiner. It the culmination of work which began in Paris in 2006, following suggestions made in the UN’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005.

Plans to set up the IPBES are set to be formally established by the 65th session of the UN General Assembly, which opens in September.