Medellin, Colombia, 17 March 2018 — Mr. Seiji Tsutsui, APN Secretariat Director and Dr. Linda Stevenson, Division Head for Communication and Scientific Affairs attended the Stakeholder Day preceding the sixth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which was held on Saturday, 17 March 2018 in Medellín, Colombia, followed by the IPBES-6 Opening Ceremony.
The Stakeholder Day provided an opportunity for organizations interested in the IPBES process to discuss their engagement in the Plenary session. IPBES-6 is expected to finalize and launch five science-policy assessment reports and summaries for policymakers (SPMs): a thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration; and regional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Europe and Central Asia.
Stakeholder Day discussions focused on:
- Enhancing the impact of IPBES assessments, including through capacity building for uptake and a new online tool to track assessment impact;
- The role of the participatory mechanism in incorporating indigenous and local knowledge in assessments, and the need to address barriers to full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs);
- Challenges in ensuring the policy relevance of assessments, and interpreting and communicating their findings; and
- Next steps in implementing the IPBES Capacity-building Rolling Plan and how to prioritize requests for capacity building.
Following the Stakeholder engagement sessions, the formal session of the IPBES-6 Plenary took place from 5:30 pm on the same day and the plenary was honoured to have the presence of President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia who explained the rich biodiversity of Colombia. In a keynote address, President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia, highlighted several ongoing efforts to restore and preserve biodiversity throughout Colombia, a mega-biodiverse nation, including inter alia: increasing the number of terrestrial protected areas (PAs) by 14% and marine PAs (MPAs) by 13%; and regional efforts to protect marine corridors of the Andes, the Amazon and the Atlantic.