United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Final meeting on whether to establish an international body to address decline of world`s nature-based assets

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

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.

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