Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos
Alexander von Humboldt

Investigación en biodiversidad y servicios ecosistémicos para la toma de decisiones

conexion vital

IPBES Colombia EN


From March 17 to 24, 2018, the Sixth Plenary Session of IPBES will be held in Medellin, Colombia

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Download here the itinerary of the parallel activities to #ipbes6

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Colombia is member of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) since 2012. At national level, all the activities and decisions are coordinated through the IPBES National Committee, which is composed by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Research Institute of Biological Resources Alexander von Humboldt, the Institute of Scientific Research for the Amazon (SINCHI), the Institute for Environmental Research of the Pacific (IIAP), the Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (INVEMAR), National Natural Parks of Colombia; Colciencias, the National University, the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the EAFIT University.
The Humboldt Institute was delegated to carry out the technical secretariat of this committee, and also as National Focal Point for IPBES. Institutionally, the Humboldt Institute, in addition to carry out the technical secretariat and act as National Focal Point, has been hosting since 2015 the Technical Support Unit of the IPBES Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Americas, which is expected to be approved during the 6th Plenary Session of the Platform in Medellín in March 2018.

  • ¿What is?

    The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES, was created in 2012 within the framework of the United Nations Organization, as an intergovernmental body that seeks to strengthen the science-policy-society interface by making available to decision-makers related to the conservation, use and sustainable management of biodiversity, and its relationships with sustainable development and human well-being, scientific and technical information of high rigor and validity, based on, among others, the asessment of biodiversity and its ecosystem services at the global, regional and national levels, and under a principle of broad social, intersectoral and inter-institutional participation.
  • Structure

    The Platform is organized through a Plenary, which acts as the space through its 127 members make decisions about IPBES. It also has a Bureau, responsible for its administrative functions, and a Multidisciplinary Experts Panel (MEP), responsible for scientific and technical functions. Finally, it has a Secretariat, hosted in Bonn, Germany, and Technical Support Units, which facilitate the development and implementation of the 2014-2018 Work Programme at regional, global, thematic and methodological levels.
  • Work Programme 2014-2018

    At its 2nd Plenary Session, the countries approved the 2014-2018 IPBES Work Programme, structured through 4 objectives:

    1.Strengthening capacities and knowledge for science-policy interface.

    2.Strengthening of science-policy interface in biodiversity and ecosystem services at subregional, regional and global levels

    3.Strengthening the interface between knowledge and policy associated with thematic and methodological issues

    4.Communication and evaluation of the activities and outputs of IPBES.

    Currently, around 1,000 experts from around the world participate in IPBES, with training and experience in natural, social, human, economic and political sciences. In the framework of the IPBES Work Program 2014-2018, it was agreed to develop 16 deliverables, which must be approved at the Sixth Plenary Meeting, which will take place in the city of Medellín - Colombia, in March 2018. These products are related to different topics, such as:

    Regional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services (Americas, Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Asia Pacific) Global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services Capacity building Indigenous and local knowledge systems Knowledge and data priorities Pollination and food production Invasive alien species Sustainable use of biodiversity Land degradation and restoration Policy support tools and methodologies

    It is noteworthy that these issues have been identified as priorities because of their relationship with the main causes of loss and deterioration of biodiversity, and seeking options for their resolution, considering the information and existing knowledge or that can be generated from different knowledge systems (scientific, administrative, academic and traditional). 

  • Conceptual framework

    The general operation of the Platform, as well as the development of its Work Programme, is based on a conceptual framework formulated by a group of experts at global and multidisciplinary levels, from which it is proposed that nature, understood as biodiversity and ecosystem services from the different knowledge systems, offers a series of goods and services to society which, in the framework of the IPBES, are understood as nature’s benefits to people. These benefits increase the quality of life of the population.

    According to this relationship between nature and human beings, positive and negative drivers on biodiversity are identified, which can be direct or indirect, both natural and human. It is also highlighted the influence of institutions, governments and governance systems in the management and use of biodiversity. Finally, the changes generated over the time are taken into account, from which baselines, trends and future scenarios are determined; and the importance of integrating knowledge based on spatial scales: local, national, regional and global.

  • National Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    To support the 2014-2018 IPBES Work Programme, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP-WCMC), proposed at a global level to develop pilot of national assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services, in four countries: Vietnam, Cameroon, Malaysia and Colombia. As a result, and after obtaining resources granted by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, a specific project was defined and will be guided by the Subglobal Assessment Network, SGA Network, whose Secretariat is hosted by UNEP-WCMC.

    Within the framework of the foregoing, and with a view to develop the activities corresponding to Colombia, an agreement was signed between the Alexander von Humboldt Institute and UNEP-WCMC, which aims to: conduct a National Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services using the IPBES methodology, as well as its conceptual framework and assessments guide, whose execution term will finish on January 31, 2021. This evaluation will be prepared by a group of around 50 experts from different areas of knowledge, as well as experts and holders of indigenous and local knowledge, seeking an interdisciplinary balance and highlighting the dialogue of knowledges.

  • Thematic Assessment: Mining

    Taking into account that Colombia has prioritized the sustainable development related to extractive processes that are being carried out, and highlighting the importance to develop technical documents associated to the impacts generated by these activities in the territory, the IPBES national thematic assessment raises the review of the mining activity and the implications of illegal mineral extraction in biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    This project is part of the Sentence T 445 of 2016, which orders to build a scientific and sociological research to identify the impacts of the mining activity on the ecosystems of the Colombian territory, throughout a rigorous study that allows to have information for decision makers.

    In this regard, different institutions of the national government, including the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Minning and Energy, the National Mining Agency, the National Natural Parks Unit, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute and the Office of the Controller General of the Republic, make up an Inter-institutional Bureau, and work closely together since 2016, to carry out the assessment of the mining activity, through the IPBES operational and conceptual framework.

    Currently 45 national and international experts selected through a public call, are conducting the comprehensive review of information within the framework of 5 major priority areas, such as:

    - Biodiversity and ecosystem services

    - Physical transformation of the territory

    - Social relations, governance and territorial rights

    - Determinants in health

    - Public policies, democracy and citizen participation.

    Inside the experts structure of the assessment, each chapter has Lead Authors and Group Thematic Leaders, whose are interacting in order to define approaches to allow an interdisciplinary and constructive analysis to preliminarily generates a consolidated diagnosis to be subsequently feedback and assertive through a public consultation in 2018.

  • Americas Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    The Americas assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services corresponds to one of the deliverables of the 2014-2018 Work Program, which formally began its development in 2015. During 2014, a group of experts produced a first document on the overall structure of the assessment and the topics to be dealt with in each of its 6 chapters. Subsequently, through a global open call, to nominate experts, the IPBES Bureau and MEP, selected around 90 experts from the region, thus forming the group of authors of the assessment.

    At a general level, the group of authors is divided into 3 co-chairs, 2 or 3 coordinators lead authors by each chapter and a group between 10 and 15 experts per chapter. The 6 chapters are:

    Setting the scene

    Nature’s benefits to people and quality of life

    Status, trends and future dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems underpinning nature’s benefits to people

    Direct and indirect drivers of change in the context of different perspectives on quality of life

    Integrated and cross-scale analysis of interactions of the natural world and human society

    Options for governance, institutional arrangements and private and public decision-making across scales and sectors

    With this evaluation, IPBES seeks mainly to make a critical analysis on the state of knowledge in the region regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services, hoping to obtain legitimacy, credibility and relevance. More information about the Americas Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services can be found in the following link: