25 September 2020

As the UN Secretary-General has said, we are currently grappling with the worst global crisis since World War II. As leaders respond to these unprecedented challenges and take the decisions that will shape societies for decades to come, it is of paramount importance that science and evidence should guide our actions, helping us to build back better, by mending our increasingly frayed relationship with nature.

In May 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) launched its landmark Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It triggered headlines around the world about the fact that 1 million species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction. In many ways, it woke the world to the urgency of the crisis facing biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people.

While the perilous state of nature has dominated media coverage – again this month – the complete story is, in fact, more hopeful and filled with opportunities for innovative solutions to our nature and climate challenges, which also underlie the only possible paths to successfully achieve the 2030 Agenda and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

As the General Assembly finalizes preparations for the Summit on Biodiversity, on 30 September, we want to take this opportunity to recall the science and evidence that highlights the solutions for many of these challenges that can be found in nature.

This special edition of IPS news encapsulates some of the landmark findings and insights from the IPBES Global Assessment Report. Decision-makers are better poised than ever to transform biodiversity concerns into tangible actions, which can ensure a more sustainable future for people and nature.

This is especially critical as leaders move towards agreement on a new global biodiversity framework at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15) in China next year.

Nature’s dangerous decline is unprecedented, but it is not too late to act. Incremental change will not be sufficient – the science shows that transformative change is urgently needed to restore and protect nature.

As hundreds of the world’s leading scientists found, and intergovernmental representatives from more than 130 Member States agreed: “By its very nature, transformative change can expect opposition from those with interests vested in the status quo, but such opposition can be overcome for the broader public good.”


Dr. Anne Larigauderie
IPBES Executive Secretary

Anne Larigauderie UN Biodiversity Summit #ForNature Video

 On the eve of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, Dr. Anne Larigauderie calls on everyone to make ambitious commitments to protect #biodiversity and #nature.   MORE > >


As Planet Burns, One Million Species in World’s Eco-System in Danger of Extinction
Thalif Deen
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the 193-member General Assembly last December, he focused on the smoldering climate crisis-- pointing out that the last five years have been the hottest ever recorded. Ice caps are melting, he said, In Greenland alone, 179 billion tonnes of ... MORE > >


Unite Behind Environmental Science: Transforming Values and Behaviour is as Important as Restoring Global Ecosystems
Ana María Hernández Salgar
Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature’s most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are ... MORE > >


A Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework Aims at Reinforcing Efforts to Save World’s Ecosystem
Thalif Deen
The UN’s highly-touted socio-economic agenda, which lays out an ambitious global plan for “people, planet and prosperity”, has been dominated by “goals, targets and deadlines.” But regrettably, most developing nations are struggling to reach these goals—due largely to a shortfall in ... MORE > >


COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics
Josef Settele, Sandra Díaz, Eduardo Brondizio and Peter Daszak
There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - us. As with the climate and biodiversity crises, recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at ... MORE > >

Bending the Curve on Biodiversity Loss Requires Nothing Less than Transformational Change
Jamison Ervin
A spate of reports on biodiversity – the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, the Living Planet Report, the Global Forest Resources Assessment Report and the Global Biodiversity Outlook- paint a stark picture for the world’s biodiversity. All point in the same direction: ... MORE > >

Climate Change and Loss of Species: Our Greatest Challenges
Farhana Haque Rahman
Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red List, a rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly ... MORE > >

World’s Hard Fought Battle Against Climate Change
Thalif Deen
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describes the ongoing crisis as a “climate emergency”-- as the world continues its hard fought battle against devastating droughts, floods, hurricanes and rising sea levels that threaten the very existence of small island developing states located in low-lying ... MORE > >

Media Release: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating'

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) ... MORE > >

[IPBES Podcast] Nature Insight: Speed Dating with the Future

Join Rob and Brit as they ‘speed date’ with the future! Each week, they will introduce you to people with unique insights into the values of nature and our relationship with it. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts to learn how to make better choices about protecting all life on earth ... MORE > >

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