Dr. Arun Agrawal Announced as Co-Chair on Intergovernmental Transformative Change Assessment
“The world changes every day. But sustainability of people and ecosystems requires a transformation in where we are headed. Figuring out what this transformation will look like and how to achieve it is our challenge. We are daunted by this task and eager to pursue it.”
—Dr. Arun Agrawal
Bonn, Germany – The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) today announced six new co-chairs – three each to lead work on two major new multi-year international scientific assessments.
The IPBES assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (the ‘Nexus Assessment’) will be led by Prof. Paula Harrison (UK) from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology; Prof. Pamela McElwee (USA) from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and Dr. David Obura (Kenya) of CORDIO East Africa.
The IPBES assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, the determinants of transformative change, and options for achieving the 2050 vision for biodiversity (the ‘Transformative Change Assessment’) will be co-chaired by Prof. Arun Agrawal (India & USA) from the University of Michigan; Prof. Lucas Garibaldi (Argentina) from the National University of Río Negro; and Prof. Karen O’Brien (USA & Norway) from the University of Oslo.
Announcing the appointments, Dr. Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of IPBES said: “We warmly congratulate all six new IPBES co-chairs and thank them for their commitment of time, expertise and energy over the next three years, to better inform policy and decisions about biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people. These new IPBES assessments will be among the most complex and interdisciplinary ever undertaken.”
Speaking about the significance of the assessments, Profs. Harrison, McElwee and Dr. Obura said: “Since the publication of the IPBES Global Assessment, in 2019, Governments and other decision-makers have increasingly realized the importance of addressing the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of nature’s contributions to people holistically and with great urgency. The Nexus Assessment will help inform consideration of synergies and trade-offs in terms of social, economic and environmental impacts.
Profs. Agrawal, Garibaldi and O’Brien added: “The Transformative Change Assessment will offer practical options for concrete action to foster, accelerate and maintain the transformative change necessary for a more sustainable future.”
Hundreds of leading international experts, from every region of the world, will contribute as authors to the assessments. Following three years of writing, and at least two public rounds of expert peer review, both Assessment Reports are expected to be considered by representatives of the almost 140 member States of IPBES in 2024 – at the eleventh session of the IPBES Plenary.
“The IPBES Global Assessment provided the scientific basis for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework that will be agreed by governments later this year at CBD COP 15,” said Dr. Larigauderie. “The Nexus and Transformative Change Assessments will build on that evidence and data – helping decision-makers at all levels to better implement the actions needed to meet these goals and targets for people and for nature.”
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IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body comprising almost 140 member Governments. Established by Governments in 2012, it provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the contributions they make to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets. To some extent IPBES does for biodiversity what the IPCC does for climate change. For more information about IPBES and its assessments visit www.ipbes.net