The IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) will work to build capacity for and strengthen the use of science in policy making by linking the scientific community and policy makers. The workshop and assessments will take place in Tokyo, Japan from the 25 to 27 of July 2011.
The Ministry of the Environment of Japan in partnership with the United Nations University and under the coordination and assistance of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is organizing an International Workshop on ecosystem assessment and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) from July 25 to July 27 in Tokyo. EfD-CA Center coordinator, Francisco Alpízar, was invited to participate in the workshop.
The goal is to gather some of the best scientists to discuss and provide guidance through an information document which will the basis for delegates in the design of the assessment component of the new IPBES. This final product of the workshop participants will be an important part of the preparation process for the official establishment of IPBES. A final document from the workshop will be distributed at the IPBES plenary which will have a first session of a plenary meeting in October 2011.
Six years after the completion of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment biodiversity losses and ecosystem services in decline still continue, “One reason is the lack of a common science platform that provides regular scientific findings and recommendations for action, as IPCC does for climate change. But this is to change in the very near future” reads the letter of invitation.
The creation of the IPBES follows from the merging of two major global processes working on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the follow-up to the International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) and the follow-up of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Formally, it was when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2010 at its 65th meeting agreed the UNEP would convene a plenary meeting to establish IPBES in 2011. The UNEP Governing Council in its 26th session held in February 2011 adopted the UNGA resolution to follow its request to fully operationalize IPBES.
Thus, the IPBES will fill the gap of scientific information related to biodiversity and ecosystem services mush needed by governments, multilateral environmental agreements, UN bodies, and relevant stakeholders. The four main functions of IPBES will be:
To identify and prioritize key scientific information needed for policymakers and to catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge.
To perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages.
To support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies.
To prioritize key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface, as well as to provide and call for financial and other support for the highest-priority needs related directly to its activities.
For more information visit the IPBES website: http://ipbes.net
 See A/C.2/65/L.43 available at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/N10/634/99/PDF/N1063499.pdf?OpenElement and UNEP’s decision available at http://ipbes.net/downloads/doc_download/3-gc-decision.html
 See IPBES available at http://ipbes.net/about-ipbes/frequently-asked-questions.html