The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)


If you would like to receive information on future opportunities from IPBES join the UK IPBES Stakeholder Network


Upcoming Events and Opportunities

(see below for more information)

Call for nomination of experts for IPBES Task Force



Call for in-kind support for technical support units


Deadline for applications: 17 June  2019



Deadline for applications: 1 July  2019



Visit the Archive page for information on past opportunities

Completed Assessments

Deliverable 3(b)(i)

Thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration


Approved at IPBES-6 Plenary March 2018

Deliverable 2(b)

Regional / subregional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services


Approved at IPBES-6 Plenary

March 2018

Deliverable 3(a)

Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production



Approved at IPBES-4 Plenary February 2016


Deliverable 3(c)

Methodological Assessment of Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services


Approved at IPBES-4 Plenary February 2016


Call for in-kind support for technical support units

To make offers for in-kind support to the following technical support units:
  1. Technical support unit for policy tools and methodologies;
  2. Technical support unit for scenarios and models;
  3. Technical support unit for capacity-building;
  4. Technical support unit for knowledge and data;
  5. Technical support unit for indigenous and local knowledge.


Governments or organisations interested in providing in-kind support for a technical support unit are invited to send their offer, using the template provided here, to the secretariat at by 1 July 2019.
The offer should include specific information on:

  • the task force for which the offer is being made;
  • background and relevance of the hosting institution to the work of the task force;
  • the administration and staffing of the technical support unit;
  • funding arrangements, including a budget detailing how the IPBES dedicated funds and the matching in-kind contribution from the host institution would be used.

Members of task forces and offers for technical support units will be selected in accordance with the relevant decisions by the Plenary of IPBES and applicable procedures during the 13th meetings of the IPBES Multidisciplinary Expert Panel and the Bureau, planned for 22-26 July 2019 in Bonn, Germany. Outcomes will be communicated a few weeks after the meeting.

Call for nominations of experts for IPBES Task Force

Following the successful conclusion of IPBES 7 and in line with decision IPBES-7/1 on the Rolling Work Programme of IPBES up to 2030, we would like to invite Governments and other relevant stakeholders:
1) To nominate candidates for the following task forces:

  1. A task force on policy tools and methodologies, mandated until IPBES 10 (planned for 2023; see here for more information);
  2. A task force on scenarios and models, mandated until IPBES 10 (see here for more information);
  3. A task force on capacity building, mandated until IPBES 10 (see here for more information);
  4. A task force on knowledge and data, mandated until IPBES 10 (see here for more information);
  5. A task force on indigenous and local knowledge, mandated until IPBES 10 (see here for more information).


All Governments and relevant organisations or institutions are encouraged to submit nominations. Nominating organisations or institutions are not required to have been admitted to the Plenary of IPBES as an observer. Please help us to disseminate this call for nominations of experts widely to relevant institutions and organisations.

Nominated experts should have expertise - specific to the task force to which they are nominated - in one or more disciplines of natural science, social science or the humanities, be indigenous and local knowledge experts or have expertise in indigenous and local knowledge systems or be policy experts and practitioners. All nominees should have experience in working within interdisciplinary, international and/or global contexts. Governments and organisations are invited to nominate women as well as men with a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds in order to ensure a balanced team of experts.
For the task forces on policy tools and methodologies, capacity-building, knowledge and data and indigenous and local communities, nominations are also invited for representatives of qualified national, regional and international scientific organisations, centres of excellence and institutions, including experts on indigenous and local knowledge, known for their work and expertise on issues related to the mandate of the respective task force.

Please follow this procedure for nomination:

  1. Nominees are invited to fill out the application form and attach their curriculum vitae/information regarding the organisation they are representing, through the dedicated web portal at|01||9d87ccda6cdf4c1b5d4d08d6df732099|444ee4e8b2fd491d8c318b0508370a6b|0|0|636942082908934861&sdata=n%2F8N6hWEOnRqgw48H2gHSVHYk2PF9iRXnYNMR97yxIg%3D&reserved=0 (To access this page, you will need to log in with your IPBES web site login credentials or Nominees not yet registered on the IPBES web site will need to do so by clicking on the "Create new account".)
  2. The nominating Government or organisation (Nominator) indicated by the Nominee will receive an email with a link to the nomination form and will be invited to approve and submit the nominations in the web portal.
  3. Nominators and Nominees will receive a confirmation via email once the nomination has been duly submitted.

This form includes a section titled “Details of Government/Organisation supporting your nomination”: Nominations can either be supported by government members of IPBES, or another stakeholder.  If you wish for Defra to support your nomination, you should complete Section B as follows:
·         Type of nomination body: Government
·         Name of country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
·         Position of contact person: UK IPBES National Focal Point
·         Full name (nominator): Natasha Lewis
·         E-mail (nominator):
Your nomination will then be reviewed to ensure relevant experience and endorsed by Defra for onward transmission to the IPBES Secretariat.  Once your nomination has been endorsed, you will receive an automated confirmation.

All UK nominated experts selected by the MEP to assist in delivering of the IPBES work programme should try and identify their own sources of funding in order to attend IPBES meetings.  Defra has access to a limited resource to support attendance at IPBES meetings in 2018/19, and requests for funding should be made only where engagement is dependent on this support: Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis (per meeting), and funding cannot be guaranteed for every meeting or for onward years.  If applying for financial support to attend meetings, experts will need to set out what other sources of funding have been considered.

Nominators (Governments or organisations) should approve the applications and submit their nominations by 1 July 2019. Early nominations ahead of the deadline are encouraged.

  • Experts that are nominated and selected as members of a task force of IPBES accept the relevant conditions for this role. This includes that the time contributed to IPBES is committed on a pro-bono basis. Experts from developing countries as well as from economies in transition receive financial support to attend relevant IPBES meetings in line with the approved budget. This financial support covers travel costs and per diem for the days spent at the meeting. Selected experts of developed countries are to secure their own funding to participate in the meetings. Selected experts are expected to participate at least in the formal meeting of the task force (one per inter-sessional period) and may be asked to participate in other IPBES meetings.

For the task force on indigenous and local knowledge, nominations are also invited for representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities. Interested experts and representatives of organisations or indigenous peoples and local communities (Nominees) are encouraged to contact their IPBES National Focal Point regarding any country-specific processes or deadlines and are requested to fill out their application form by no later than 17 June 2019.


Report from IPBES 5 held in March in Bonn, Germany

Sir Bob Watson, IPBES Chair UK Delegation to IPBES


The fifth meeting of IPBES members was held in Bonn between 7-10 March. 100 countries (of the 123 members) were represented and many other countries and organisations were present as observers.


The meeting covered a range of subjects (on which more below) all of which were overshadowed by the need to continue on-going and new work under severe budgetary constraints. Eventually a budget of $8.7m matched with current balance and anticipated income for 2017 was agreed, albeit with significant savings from planned activities in the work programme and reluctant acceptance that no new assessments could be started this year; although this might be pragmatic given the availability of experts whilst six major assessments are on-going.


For the European Union the meeting concluded with them having enhanced status allowing fuller participation in IPBES. The Commission has indicated that enhanced status would enable them, subject to approval by the Horizon 2020 Programme Committee, to provide funding on a similar basis to IPCC - potentially €4m, over 4 years. But they were not able to make a pledge to the Trust Fund at this plenary.


Most of the meeting saw participants divided into two working groups. Working Group one spent considerable time discussing the approach for recognising and working with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) within the platform. This was a long, complex and technical discussion with potential wider implications.  The approach includes a ‘participatory mechanism’ including a roster of experts and dialogue meetings, subject to available resources.  The most difficult issue was the handling of consent from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) to use ILK within IPBES activities including a reference to free prior informed consent.  Working Group One also negotiated the terms of reference for the first review of effectiveness of the procedures of the platform, including establishment of an external review, though this was also deferred until necessary funding is available.


In Working Group 2 there were protracted negotiations on the scope of the proposed thematic assessment on sustainable use of wild species. The Thursday evening session finished at 1.00am. Attempts were made to limit the scope of the assessment and eventually wording was found that would allow the experts undertaking the assessment to determine a pragmatic approach to the number of taxa and the frequency of use of wild species to make the work manageable. The scope will cover some species from all biomes including marine. Although the scope was agreed, the timing for initiation of the review was subject to available resources.  There were also inconclusive discussions on the respective priorities and timing for the two other pending assessments on valuation and invasive alien species. Most developing countries favoured an assessment on sustainable use. There was a commitment to review the scope and give priority to initiate these pending assessments in the work programme when funding is available. The work on capacity building was widely accepted and the decisions were quickly agreed but these are also subject to available funding. A third forum on capacity building was deferred.


Plenary also accepted the use of the term ‘nature’s contributions to people (NCP)’ as a more universally accepted term for ecosystem services or nature’s benefits (noting that nature’s contributions could be negative as a well as positive). See under information documents number 24 for further information.


The UK pledged £150k in 2017 and 2018 to the voluntary Trust Fund (retaining some flexibility for additional ‘in-kind’ support).

For another view on IPBES 5 please see

For a quick refresher on what IPBES does, see this video:




In 2012 the world’s governments agreed to establish the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a mechanism for strengthening the global science-policy interface (SPI) for biodiversity and ecosystem services. SPIs are aimed at people in science and/or policy interested in engaging with the ’other’ community. People link up to communicate, exchange ideas, and jointly develop knowledge for enhancing policy and decision-making processes and research. This involves exchanging information and knowledge leading to learning and ultimately to changed behaviour - doing something different as a result of the learning.


IPBES members are committed to building the platform as the leading intergovernmental body for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to society.


IPBES responds to requests for scientific information related to biodiversity and ecosystem services from Governments, relevant multilateral environmental agreements and United Nations bodies, as well as other relevant stakeholders. The work IPBES carries out includes:

  • identifying and prioritising key scientific information needed for policymakers;
  • cataloguing and critically reviewing assessments relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • supporting policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies; and
  • identifying key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface.


Click to enlarge IPBES hierarchical diagram


For a larger version of this diagram, download as a PDF




The UK government pledged £2 million, from Defra and DfID, from 2011-2015 to help support IPBES, with Defra making further pledges to  support the 2016-2017 work programme. JNCC’s role is supporting Defra in achieving a pragmatic evidence-based approach to IPBES and its work building on existing initiatives, and by facilitating efficient engagement with the UK biodiversity science and policy communities. JNCC brings together UK and European experts on globally important work on biodiversity and ecosystem services through the delivery of the UK IPBES Stakeholder Hub. Working in partnership with Defra, JNCC shape the work of IPBES and support UK experts in their contributions to IPBES assessments, covering a diverse range of topics from land degradation and restoration, to scenarios and modelling. 


Defra and JNCC represent the UK’s interests at the annual IPBES Plenary as well as at the extensive programme of stakeholder meetings and workshops supported by experts in the biodiversity and ecosystem service field. Defra and JNCC are also responsible for reviewing IPBES papers and assessments, and organising meetings to engage UK experts and stakeholders.



IPBES eLearning Module

An IPBES eLearning module, is available to help assessment practitioners, from sub-national to global scales, understand and apply the IPBES conceptual framework within the context of a national or IPBES assessment (global, regional, thematic, methodological). It comprises three 30-40 minute lessons and can be used on desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as offline.



IPBES Webinars

The webinar series is produced by the IPBES Secretariat to build capacity for those involved in or interested in IPBES. It provides information on IPBES' processes and outputs.

  1. Webinar 1: The IPBES Assessment Process
  2. Webinar 2: The Conceptual Framework
  3. Webinar 3: The IPBES Pollination Report outcomes and lessons learnt
  4. Webinar 4: Guide relating to varied conceptualizations of value