The new Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), is breaking new ground in how research on social-ecological systems is assessed and how knowledge from different cultures is assimilated. Photo: IISD Reporting Services

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science, policy and practice

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

The centre has been deeply involved in the ongoing discussions to establish IPBES, an initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme and a complementary process to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment follow-up and implementation strategies


IPBES is today an international science-policy platform analogous to the IPCC. Several centre researchers are involved in breaking new ground in how research on social-ecological systems is assessed and how knowledge from very different cultures is assimilated.

Over several years, Maria Schultz, Pernilla Malmer, and Maria Tengö, all part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s SwedBio programme, have worked closely with indigenous peoples and local community organisations to connect indigenous and local knowledge with scientific knowledge. They have also led the development of the Multiple Evidence Base approach, which helps connect knowledge system views from indigenous, local, and scientific knowledge systems in a transparent fashion. Its work has received significant attention in the science-policy-practice community.

In 2016, centre researcher Garry Peterson was one of the editors of the IPBES methodological assessment report on scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The 350-page report assessed what knowledge, tools and practices exist to explore possible futures for biodiversity and ecosystem services. It identified gaps in data, knowledge, methods, and tools, and provides guidance on how to address these gaps. Peterson led the assessment of models and scenarios of ecosystem services in this report.

During the fourth IPBES plenary meeting, which took place in February 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (main picture), a scoping report for a global biodiversity and ecosystem assessment was approved. It was developed by an expert group including SRC director Johan Rockström and Belinda Reyers, head of the GRAID programme. During the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, IPBES also hosted a two-day stakeholder meeting where indigenous peoples and local communities connected with other stakeholders, such as environmental organisations, scientific networks, businesses, and UN bodies (pictured below). The two-days were organised by IUCN and Future Earth and facilitated by Owen Gaffney from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Australian researcher Simone Maynard.

Photo: IISD Reporting Services

Topics: IPBES

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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