Scientific knowledge on the links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being has increased significantly since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MAs) was completed.  There is however a need for a stronger international science-policy platform to enable emerging scientific knowledge to be translated into specific policy action at the appropriate levels.

The current science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services comprises a number of national and international programmes, organizations, mechanisms, and processes. The biodiversity and ecosystem-related multilateral environmental agreements, for example, contain provisions on scientific and technical cooperation. Their contribution to policy making at the appropriate levels could, however, be strengthened further if there was a mechanism that could provide a scientifically sound, uniform and consistent framework for tackling changes to biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Consultations towards an international mechanism for scientific expertise on biodiversity and the global strategy on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment follow-up both reflect a general agreement on the need for an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This need was further strengthened by decision IX/15 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which welcomed the agreement of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to convene an ad hoc open-ended intergovernmental multi-stakeholder meeting to consider establishing an efficient science-policy interface on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Parties were invited to ensure that appropriate science and policy experts were made available to attend, and also encouraged the participation of experts from various regions and disciplines...more