2012 ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA CONFERENCE IN PORTLAND, OREGON
Bringing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science to Global Policy Making, and Oral Session
USNC DIVERSITAS organized a session as a means to introduce the Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to the segment of the scientific community represented by ESA, and to begin to engage them in contributing to this important science-policy initiative. Like IPCC, it is being established with the intention of ensuring that the best available science is made available to Governments and decision makers. This session is designed to both educate and update the ESA community on the plans for the IPBES and explore opportunities for involving individuals from that community in the IPBES assessment process.
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USNC DIVERSITAS HOSTS IPBES PUBLIC FORUM, ALFRED NOBEL HALL OF THE HOUSE OF SWEDEN, WASHINGTON, DC, NOVEMBER 29, 2011
The Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is designed to be an interface between the global scientific community and policymakers that aims at building capacity for and strengthening the use of science in policymaking. The public forum was designed to inform and update the Washington science and policy communities on the rationale and plans for the IPBES, describe the progress at the first IPBES plenary session, and explore opportunities for scientists, scientific societies, and NGOs to contribute to both the shaping and the execution of IPBES, in order to maximize its value for both scientific understanding and policy formulation. DIVERSITAS was designated by ICSU to represent the science community in those sessions. The U.S. National Committee for DIVERSITAS, chaired by Peter Raven, was funded by NSF to work with relevant scientific organizations to educate and engage the U.S. science community with regard to the IPBES. This informational public forum, and the discussions with the audience, has been the first step in the USNC’s process.
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DARWIN SYMPOSIUM HIGHLIGHTED BIODIVERSITY POLICY
The USNC/DIVERSITAS and the Board on International Scientific Organizations convened “Twenty-first Century Ecosystems: Systemic Risk and the Public Good,” a symposium on the Science and Policy for Managing the Living World Two Centuries after the birth of Charles Darwin on February 11-12, 2009 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The symposium focused on opportunities for designing policies that strengthen and make use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as the dangers of pursuing policies that put ecosystems at risk.
The USNC/DIVERSITAS thanks the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Forest Service (USFS), Smithsonian Institution, Defenders of Wildlife, IUCN, and DIVERSITAS International for their support of the Symposium.
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DIVERSITAS will Coordinate International Scientific Community Input to IPBES
In December, the UN General Assembly moved toward the creation of a new assessment body, akin to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to track causes and consequences of anthropogenic ecosystem change. This new assessment mechanism, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), is founded on the recognition of accelerating ecosystem damage, and builds on the knowledge and community of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, completed in 2005. UNEP will coordinate a process in the next year to negotiate operational arrangements for IPBES, such as rules and procedures, governance structure, and the IPBES program of work.
To ensure the engagement of the relevant global scientific community in the process, ICSU has asked DIVERSITAS Executive Director Anne Larigaudarie to act as the ICSU coordinator in the future IPBES process. The USNC DIVERSITAS will work closely with Dr. Larigaudarie to broaden awareness of IPBES in the US scientific community, and encourage engagement in both the development and execution of the IPBES assessments.
DIVERSITAS Attended the 1st Plenary Meeting Session
Following the United Nations 65th General Assembly (UNGA) approval of the creation of an Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in November 2010, DIVERSITAS attended the first session of the plenary meeting, scheduled 3-7 October 2011. Daily coverage http://www.iisd.ca/ipbes/sop1/.
bioGENESIS Science Committee Meets in New York, June 2011
The bioGENESIS Science Committee member Joel Cracraft hosted a meeting of the Committee at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on June 14-16. The Committee discussed its plans and focus for research the coming year, and unveiled a new Website that features stories illustrating its scientific strategy, told in a way that can be used by educators. Committee member Andrew Hendry posted a short discussion of the meeting and the bioGENESIS project on his EvoEco Blog.
Dr. Peter Raven Accepts Appointment as Chair of USNC DIVERSITAS
The NAS has appointed Professor Peter Raven as Chair of the US National Committee for DIVERSITAS. His leadership of the Committee will help focus the USNC efforts to strengthen the US biodiversity and ecosystem research and policy communities’ engagement with global issues, particularly IPBES. Dr. Raven, a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1977, is a nationally and internationally renowned botanist who has been a key figure in the development of global awareness of the importance of biodiversity. He is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and holds the position of George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeriti at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
DIVERSITAS involved in the Rio+20 process
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Earth Summit 2012, or “Rio+20” will take place 4-6 June 2012. The official web site for Rio+20 is: http://www.earthsummit2012.org/ Alongside governments, there will be nine stakeholder 'Major Groups' participating in the conference: Indigenous Peoples, Farmers, Workers & Trade Unions, Local Authorities, Business and Industry, Science and Technology Community, Women, Children & Youth, NGOs. ICSU and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) are co-organizing partners for the Science and Technology Community. DIVERSITAS is invited to contribute to Rio+20 through ICSU. The major contribution of DIVERSITAS to Rio+20 will be via co-organizing the Planet under Pressure OSC2012 conference. In this context, a series of white papers and policy briefs will be prepared prior to the conference, and fed into the Rio+20 preparatory process. The outcome of OSC 2012 will be presented at Rio+20. DIVERSITAS will also be involved in the organization of the ICSU-UNESCO Regional science and technology workshops and of the Forum on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.