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Steiner on the Creation of a Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystems

Busan, Republic of Korea, 7 June 2010 - His Excellency Lee Maanee, Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Korea; Hur Nam-sik, Mayor of the City of Busan; delegates, colleagues, friends,

Let me first give some big thanks to those governments that have provided support for this, the third meeting on whether to establish an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)-our hosts, the Republic of Korea; France; Germany; Japan; Norway; the United Kingdom and in addition, the European Commission.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank other United Nations organizations; the many Multilateral Environmental Agreements; scientific bodies; Non Governmental Organizations; UNEP staff and indeed individuals who have contributed their time, energy and insight towards preparing this meeting's documents.

This has tremendously assisted the UNEP Secretariat in preparing a working document on options for improving the science policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as additional information on the assessment landscape, status of biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators, capacity development for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

And options and criteria for selecting the secretariat, background on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and an indicative budget for an intergovernmental science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

I believe the preparation for the next five days in Busan has been thorough, inclusive and transparent and the detailed options paper on how, if an IPBES is agreed, it may look, feel and operate is well done and rich.

Here let me also thank the various informal groups, meetings of scientists and other fora who in various capacities have honed this agenda and provided serious and significant comments and inputs in the run up to Busan on behalf of us all here today.

And let me thank the Mayor of Busan for the welcome and hospitality extended to everyone here this week.

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