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IPBES wins the 2020 Gothenburg Sustainability Award



The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services rewarded for its “assiduous and scientifically credible work”. Centre staff has been deeply involved in the platform’s work

The WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award has announced that the 2020 winner of the award is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

IPBES is acknowledged for its work to “summarize and explain the importance of biodiversity”. In 2019 it published the report that confirms that around one million of Earth’s estimated eight million species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.

IPBES is rewarded for its “assiduous and scientifically credible work” which, in addition to the award, will also receive one million SEK.

"IPBES has managed to summarize and explain the importance of biodiversity and the meaning of the threat against it in a way that few others have. Thanks to their work, this issue is now finally in focus and that’s why it feels great to be able to present them as this year’s winner," says Emma Dalväg, Chairperson of the jury.

Acknowledging the important role of science and evidence

In IPBES’ report ”Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” from 2019, hundreds of scientists contributed in order to give the world an accurate update on nature’s status and its link to people.

According to the WIN WIN Award jury, this report made information about biodiversity and ecosystems accessible to more than just experts and scientists.

Says IPBES Executive Secretary, Anne Larigauderie: "The IPBES secretariat receives this award on behalf of our 136 member States and dedicates it to the thousands of scientists, knowledge-holders and stakeholders who have already contributed so much of their time and expertise to our work. This success is their success."

Extensive centre staff contributions

Centre staff, particularly SwedBio under the leadership of former director Maria Schultz, were deeply involved in the establishment of IPBES in 2012. Since then staff have contributed in a variety of ways, most recently in connection with the global assessment that was launched in 2019.

Specifically, 14 members of staff have been significantly involved in IPBES in different kinds of expert roles such as coordinating lead authors of assessments, experts in scoping processes, members of expert groups, leads of method developments or members in IPBES’s prestigious fellowship programme.

Says centre senior advisor Belinda Reyers: "The award goes to the hundreds of scientists from all over the world who willingly and enthusiastically give up their time to plough through thousands of publications and reviewer comments to be able to present the findings in IPBES in a credible, legitimate and rigorous way."

Her roles within IPBES have included Lead Author on the Africa Assessment and Coordinating Lead Author on the Global Assessment. She says The Global Assessment alone represents 156,000 hours of voluntary hours which is approximately 17 years of effort summarised into one report.

"I think that’s a powerful indication of just how much scientists around the world care about this topic."

Pernilla Malmer of Swedbio, a programme on resilience and development at Stockholm Resilience Centre, adds: "IPBES and its assessments of the state of biodiversity have really contributed to new, innovative pathways to bend the curve of biodiversity loss.” Malmer is a senior adviser at Swedbio and is engaged in national and international policy processes related to biodiversity and ecosystem governance .

The official Award ceremony will take place in Gothenburg on 22 October 2020.

Read more about the award here

Topics: Awards
Published: 2020-06-04

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