Skip to content

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Read our Science Bulletin
News Item

Report of the South Asia and West Asia Science-Policy Dialogue for the implementation of the IPBES Asia-Pacific Assessment

Executive Summary

From 27-28 February 2019, in Kathmandu, Nepal, a subregional science-policy dialogue for South Asia and West Asia on the IPBES Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment was held in Park Village Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal, under the leadership of the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE), Nepal with the assistance of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC).

The dialogue is part of a capacity building project of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) and IPBES technical support unit for the Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment (IPBES-TSU-AP).

The two-day dialogue was participated by government delegates, academics, scientists and experts from the sub-regions of South Asia and West Asia with the aim of discussing the IPBES Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment (APRA) Report’s key messages, and to demonstrate that biodiversity is among the planet’s most important resources. The dialogue also highlighted the rich biodiversity and ecosystem services that the subregions provide as a vital support system for human wellbeing, and the function of IPBES to support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies. IPBES aims to enable decision-makers to gain access to available tools, methodologies and policy options identified in the IPBES APRA and presented through the Summary for Policymakers (SPM).

The dialogue featured presentations on key challenges indicated in the SPM with a focus on challenges in Sri Lanka on deforestation, the Maldives on coral reef conservation, Lebanon on conserving wildlife, and Bhutan on human and wildlife conflict. Parallel knowledge café sessions were carried out which facilitated interactive and in-depth discussions among delegates on relevant issues based on the examples of challenges presented. Additionally, to attain understanding of the varying trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the role of underlying drivers, posters containing key messages from the SPM were employed as a dissemination tool and displayed to support discussions.

The IPBES Capacity Building Technical Support Unit (CB-TSU) presented on how to use and uptake the regional assessment and highlighted four key areas of (1) capacity building, (2) uptake and impacts, (3) national ecosystem assessments, and (4) national platforms and networks. At the break-out sessions, delegates were asked about important elements at the national level of the regional assessment. The discussions resulted in recommendations for future uptake events and how raising awareness of IPBES assessments, and its products can help frame national-level dialogues that promote the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pave the way towards framing the Post-2020 Framework.

A session on support for using the regional assessment report and how to improve future IPBES assessments also received attention among the delegates. Dr Madhav Karki, Co-Chair of the IPBES Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment, framed the discussion on support and tools for using IPBES assessment reports and how to improve future assessments. In his presentation, he placed emphasis on mainstreaming biodiversity into development policies, plans and programmes, and stressed the importance of integrating biodiversity conservation into key development sectors (e.g. finance, agriculture, social development) and leverage on the synergies. He explained the importance of integrating indigenous and local knowledge in IPBES assessments and scenario development processes especially acknowledging multiple conceptualizations of values from different institutions and governance. As a take-home message, he introduced readily-available policy instruments such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and Biodiversity Offsets and policy support tools such as IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and Protected Planet, and those listed in the Catalogue of Assessments.

One of the highlights of the dialogue was a special networking session organized by MoFE wherein key senior officials of Nepal joined and presented their interests and views in terms of how institutional frameworks and governance options can be aligned so as decision-making and planning processes not directly responsible for biodiversity conservation can effectively contribute to addressing biodiversity targets and the SDGs.

The special networking session provided an opportunity for delegates to understand the current dynamics of governance across sectors in Nepal and see commonalities and opportunities available and emerging in interweaving biodiversity and national development goals.

The dialogue, in summary, facilitated meaningful discussions among delegates on capacity and policy support needs which can be used to enable current and inform future IPBES deliverables, and serve as an avenue for exchange and experience sharing among policymakers and towards a better understanding of the region’s current state of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Download full report: SA-WA SPD Report

List of presentations:

Session 2: Setting the Scene

Session 3: Challenges from Key Messages in Summary for Policymakers (Part I)

Session 5: Uptake of the IPBES Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment

Session 8: Challenges from Key Messages in Summary for Policymakers (Part II)

Session 10: Support for using IPBES assessment reports and how to improve future assessments