BONN/GENEVA, Dec 13 – Biodiversity loss and climate change are inseparable threats to humanity that must be addressed together. They are also deeply interconnected in ways that pose complex challenges to effective policy-making and action.
Fifty of the world’s leading experts, drawn in a balanced way from the domains of climate change and biodiversity, including many who are experts in their interaction, will begin a ground-breaking four-day workshop on Monday, bringing together, for the first time at this level, the two global expert communities, focused on opportunities to meet both climate change- and biodiversity-related goals.
Co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the workshop was initially planned as a meeting to be held in London in May, hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom with additional sponsorship by the Government of Norway. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, it will now be held as a virtual meeting this week, with the opening session expected to be addressed by Zac Goldsmith, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment and Maren Hersleth Holsen, the Norwegian State Secretary in the Ministry of Climate and the Environment.
“It is urgent to bring biodiversity to the forefront of discussions regarding land- and ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation. This workshop will address the synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “This will include exploring the impact of climate change on biodiversity, the capacity of species to adapt to climate change, the resilience of ecosystems under climate change and the contribution of ecosystems to climate feedback and mitigation,” he added.
Under the guidance of a 12-person Scientific Steering Committee, co-chaired by Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair IPCC Working Group II, and Robert Scholes, Co-Chair of the IPBES Assessment of Land Degradation and Restoration, a workshop report will be produced and is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2021, following a period of peer review.
“Climate change is already impacting nature – from genes to ecosystems. An integrated approach to both biodiversity loss and climate change is required if we are to properly address these challenges, including by relying more on nature to help mitigate climate change,” said Ana María Hernández Salgar, Chair of IPBES. “The workshop report will provide relevant information for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the post-2020 biodiversity framework and – more broadly – the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Building on IPBES assessment reports – the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and other IPBES assessments, IPCC assessments, and the three Special Reports released during the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) cycle, as well as other ongoing work and the latest scientific literature, the outcomes of the workshop will also contribute to the scoping of the IPBES assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health and feed into the IPCC AR6 Working Group and Synthesis Reports.
The final workshop report will be provided to the IPCC and IPBES Plenaries for their information and may be shared by the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with their respective Conference of the Parties as an information document.
It is important to note that IPBES and IPCC co-sponsorship does not imply IPBES or IPCC endorsement of the workshop proceedings or any recommendations or conclusions of the meeting. Neither the papers presented at the workshop, nor the report of its proceedings will have been subject to IPBES or IPCC intergovernmental review.
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Note to Editors:
IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body comprising more than 130 member Governments. Established by Governments in 2012, it provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the contributions they make to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets.
IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.