In April 2012, more than 90 nations agreed to set up the International Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), which aims to tackle the accelerating worldwide loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosysterm service by bringing to policy makers scienctific assessments that are accurate, impartial and up-to-date. Science organisations and national governments are now to prepare for the first official meeting of the IPBES in January 2013 in Bonn, Germany (link) and to develop the first IPBES work program.
The Federal Office for the Environment, FOEN, in collaboration with the Swiss Biodiversity Forum, organized a one-day kickoff meeting for IPBES in Switzerland, which took place at the Institute of Plant Sciences and Botanical Garden in Bern, Switzerland, on 15th of November 2012.
The meeting convened international and national experts on biodiversity, and key organistions and stakeholders in Switzerland. The aim of the meeting was to inform stakeholders in Switzerland about IPBES and to raise awareness about opportunities and ways of participating in IPBES. Keynote speakers showed various opportunities for Swiss scientists, policy makers, and organsiations to take part in the new platform IPBES.
More than 100 participants attended the meeting from various parts of the Swiss Biodiversity Science-Policy landscape: Policy and administration (18), Basic and applied research (45), NGOs (11), Forum Biodiversity, SCNAT (12), Private sector (4), Museums (5), Data holding institutions (6), Media (3).
The kickoff meeting showed that Switzerland is well placed to take an important role in IPBES, with a high density of experts and organisations, organised in various national and international networks. The Swiss Biodiversity Forum, in close cooperation with FOEN, will organize the exchange of knowledge and the involvement of experts and provide a national IPBES interface.