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Press Release

Final Meeting on Whether to Establish an International Body to Address Decline of World's Nature-Based Assets
28/ 05/ 2010

Final Meeting on Whether to Establish an International Body to Address Decline of World's Nature-Based AssetsBetween 7 and 11 June, governments, researchers and experts will meet in Busan, Republic of Korea to agree whether to establish an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Governments Gather in Busan, Republic of Korea for Third Meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Busan, 7-11 June 2010 -The past 50 years have witnessed unprecedented economic growth which has made many people in the world richer and lifted millions out of poverty.

But equally it has led to an accelerating decline of the biodiversity and the ecosystems that underpin all life on Earth?ecosystems include forests and freshwaters to soils, coral reefs and even the atmosphere.

Currently more than 65 per cent of ecosystems and their multi-trillion dollar services are classed as degraded. According to some estimates, the world is witnessing a sixth wave of extinctions of animals, plants and other organisms which are the building blocks of ecosystems.

Between 7 and 11 June, governments, researchers and experts will meet in Busan, Republic of Korea to agree whether to establish an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
The meeting comes two days after the UN's World Environment Day under the theme Many Species, One Planet, One Future and half way through the UN's International Year of Biodiversity.

Supporters of a new such Platform believe it could bridge the crucial gap between scientists and policy-makers: thus catalyzing a more comprehensive local and global response to the decline of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Such a Platform could also assist in plugging knowledge gaps. For example science still does not know how many species need to disappear from an ecosystem before the system collapses.

An IPBES could also serve as an early warning mechanism. Some experts are convinced that many scientific discoveries, from the identification of new lower life forms to the fast disappearance of others, can often remain within the corridors of research institutes and universities for many years before they reach the wider world

By that time is may be too late to act to either conserve or protect the species concerned whereas early warning might have put the species on the political radar giving it a better chance.
Meanwhile controversial issues can often be discussed in research papers for several decades before hitting the headlines.
Some kind of scientifically credible body, able to give an authoritative and peer reviewed early warning of such issues, could catalyze debate and an improved policy response long before such developments become polarized in terms of public opinion.
The decision to hold this third and final meeting was made at the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum held earlier this year in Bali, Indonesia. Media are welcome to attend the event.

For More Information Please Contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/ Head of Media, on Tel: +254 7623084 /Mobile +254 (0)733632755, E-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org

Or Isabelle Pierrard, Communication Specialist, UNEP's Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI), on Mobile. +254 (0)727 529 557, E-mail: isabelle.pierrard@unep.org

The third and final intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meeting on IPBES will be held at the Busan Exhibition and Conference Center in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 7-11 June 2010.

An opening Press Conference is scheduled on 7 June, Room 202 at the Busan Exhibition and Conference Center (BEXCO). The time of the Press Conference is yet to be confirmed.

Journalists seeking accreditation should contact Ji-hyun MIN (Program Officer, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea) on Tel: +82-2-509-7910/Mobile: +82-10-9213-2974, E-mail: no1bride@korea.kr .

Further Resources
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services website
UNEP: Biodiversity
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
UNEP Hosts Intergovernmental Negotiations On Strengthening Science for Policy on Biodiversity
Support for New Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Gathers Momentum
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
UNEP: Green Economy Initiative