Can the biodiversity community find a shared vision?
The news feature on Nature ‘The battle of the soul of biodiversity’ raises a concern about the ideological clash in the community of biodiversity experts. In 2012, the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established to provide authoritative scientific information to help stem biodiversity loss. It was designed as an equivalent to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been influential in fostering international action to combat climate change since the late 1980s.
Recently, the concept of ecosystem services has been in the center of heated debates among experts involved in IPBES since the concept is closely associated with the monetary evaluation of ecosystems which is problematic for many researchers in developing countries. The tension has long been visible in academic journals. The IPBES meeting held in June 2018 in Bonn, Germany, gave green light to a new approach called Nature’s Contribution to People aiming to provide for the scientific community a shared vision of the way forward. In 2019, IPBES will publish its first global assessment, which will be essential for the formulation of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.