Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2012; Bonn; ~50 staff;

An independent intergovernmental body that aims to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development.  IPBES is placed under the auspices of four United Nations entities: UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP and administered by UNEP. It is hosted by the UN Campus in Bonn and currently has 124 member states.

Their mission is to strengthen knowledge foundations for better policy through science, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development. Activities are guided by a graphically illustrated conceptual framework of six interrelated elements of a social-ecological system that operates at various scales in time and space: nature; nature’s benefits to people; anthropogenic assets; institutions and governance systems and other indirect drivers of change; direct drivers of change; and good quality of life.  A series of training modules explaining and supporting the conceptual framework have been developed by The Sub-Global Assessment Network, a community of 500+ ecosystem assessment practitioners at sub-global scales (regional, sub-regional, national, sub-national).

Work Program:

  • Objective 1: Capacity & Knowledge Foundations – Aims to enable experts and institutions to contribute to and benefit from the science-policy interface processes and establish enhanced human, institutional and technical capacities for an informed and effective implementation of Platform functions.
  • Objective 2: Regional & Global Assessments ­– Assesses the interactions between the living world and human society. The achievement of effective participation of developing countries in the processes of the Platform is central to the objective.
  • Objective 3: Thematic & Methodological Issues – Focused on identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies and, where necessary, to promoting and catalyzing their further development.
  • Objective 4: Communication & Evaluation – Respond to the need for the Platform to engage relevant stakeholders in its work, to communicate its activities, deliverables and objectives to potential users and to evaluate its overall usefulness and relevance to a range of stakeholders.


  • A library of 2,500+ documents on their work process
  • A library of 1,150+ Assessments, assessment reports, agreements, conceptual frameworks, glossaries, journal articles, e-learning content, etc.
  • The Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration (2018, 748p., 48p. summary) – Provides a critical analysis of the state of knowledge regarding the importance, drivers, status, and trends of terrestrial ecosystems. The Report recognizes that combatting land degradation, which is a pervasive, systemic phenomenon occurring in all parts of the world, is an urgent priority in order to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vital to all life on Earth and to ensure human well-being. Current degradation “is negatively impacting the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people.”  IPBES projects that 4 billion people will be living in drylands in 2050, with decreased land productivity and resulting socio-economic instability.  The Report identifies a mix of governance options, policies and management practices that can help support stakeholders working at all levels to reduce the negative environmental, social and economic consequences of land degradation and to rehabilitate and restore degraded land.
  • Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production (2016, 810p., 40p. summary) – Focuses on the role of native and managed pollinators, the status and trends of pollinators and pollinator-plant networks and pollination, drivers of change, impacts on human well-being, food production in response to pollination declines and deficits and the effectiveness of responses.

Leadership: Anne Larigauderie (Executive Secretary)
Budget: ~$8m

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