News ID: 3664
Publish Date: 20 August 2016 - 02:37
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IPBES has named a anthropologist professor at the Indiana University as co-chair for a landmark global assessment to advance international efforts on biodiversity and ecosystem services preservation.
Zistboom: An intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations has named Eduardo S. Brondízio, a professor at the Indiana University expert on the intersection of people and their environment as co-chair for a landmark global assessment to advance international efforts on biodiversity and ecosystem services preservation.

Eduardo S. Brondízio, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Anthropology, will co-lead a three-year, multidisciplinary collaboration between more than 100 international experts to author the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES.

He and the two other co-chairs joined nearly 150 coordinating lead authors and lead authors for their first meeting today at the United Nations offices in Bonn, Germany.

The assessment was commissioned in February by the IPBES Plenary, comprising representatives of the 125 IPBES Member States, to provide scientific evidence related to biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform policymakers and key international agreements and conventions. That includes the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, a 17-point plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure global prosperity.

"It is an honor to be selected as a co-chair on this ambitious and ground-breaking effort," Brondízio said. "We are confident that, by combining evidence from both the scientific literature and indigenous and local knowledge, this landmark assessment will inform long-term national and international efforts to halt environmental degradation and advance the rights of people to healthy ecosystems."

The other co-chairs are Sandra Díaz of the National University of Córdoba in Argentina and Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany.

A national of both Brazil and the United States who has spent three decades committed to research on human-environment interaction in the Amazon rainforest, Brondízio has been involved with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' development for the past four years.

The assessment, whose scope of analysis will span from the middle of the last century until the middle of this century, will address the current state of knowledge about the interaction between people and nature; direct and indirect drivers of ecological change; and nature's benefits to humanity, among other topics. It will also explore the contributions of biodiversity and ecosystems to people's long-term quality of life, with a focus on balancing economic, social and environmental considerations.

It is also expected to provide input to the Fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be published in 2020, and inform progress on the biodiversity targets of United Nation’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. Brondízio recently authored an essay that addresses one of these targets in the journal Science.

"This assessment will offer a much-needed update on the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services, which was last reviewed more than a decade ago," said Anne Larigauderie, IPBES executive secretary. "In addition to its unprecedented intergovernmental mandate, it is guided by the IPBES conceptual framework, which recognizes different world views and incorporates a wide range of values and knowledge systems including, for the first time, vital indigenous and local knowledge."

The assessment is the successor to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a 2005 report in which the largest group of social and natural scientists ever assembled to assess knowledge in this area concluded that "humanity was putting such strain on our environment that the Earth’s ecosystems might be unable to sustain future generations," according to Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair. Brondízio was a coordinating lead author of the chapter on cultural ecosystem services in that report.

In addition, Brondízio serves as director of the IU Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes and as an internal board member of the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at IU. He is co-editor-in-chief of the journal of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, a member of the science committee of the Future Earth program and of several other international scientific bodies. He is also the author of over 180 scientific publications.

A review of the first draft of the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will take place in mid-2017. The assessment will be submitted to IPBES governments for final approval in May 2019.

Source: IU Bloomington Newsroom

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