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Ecosystem services and biodiversity

The Contribution of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to Sustainability: Science Requirements

Wednesday 13 June, 14:00 to 16:00

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View Co-Convenors' recommendations

Session co-conveners:

  • Salvatore Aricò, Senior Programme Specialist for Biodiversity at UNESCO's Natural Sciences Sector
  • Sandra Diaz, Professor of Community and Ecosystems Ecology at Cordoba National University and member of DIVERSITAS


  • Thomas Lovejoy, Chair of the Global Environment Facility Scientific and Technical Assessment Panel
  • Anne Larigauderie, Executive Director, DIVERSITAS
  • Lidia Brito, Former S&T Minister of Mozambique and Director, Division for Policy Implementation and Capacity Building, UNESCO
  • David Steuerman, Programme Officer, Scientific, Business and Biodiversity, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity


It is strongly hoped and expected that the Rio+20 Outcome will recognize clearly and strongly that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services are central to poverty reduction, sustainable development, and green societies; and that a renewed institutional framework for sustainable development also ought to include institutional arrangements in support of biodiversity conservation, its sustainable and equitable use, and the maintenance of ecosystem services on which human well-being and sustainable livelihoods depend.

Recently, Governments have agreed to create an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). IPBES will provide the main forum to assess relevant knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their contribution to sustainability. The Platform will do so through the production of assessment reports on a regular basis, which will also include recommended policy responses. One of the innovative aspects of IPBES is the decision to include a knowledge generation function, rather than focus solely on the assessment and policy responses functions; another main function of IPBES will be building capacity, including in relation to knowledge generation.

Aim of the session

The session will attempt to respond to the following questions:

How to trigger the production of new knowledge, in a strategic way, in response to recommendations in the Rio+20 Outcome and the needs of the various constituencies of IPBES i.e. governments, UN bodies, MEAs, and other groups?

How to ensure that scientific knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services be responsive to countries’ needs in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals being discussed and deliberated upon at the UN Conference on Sustainable development ‘Rio+20’?

The outcome of this session will be presented to the Rio+20 Conference through interventions made by the Co-Conveners at the Conference. Moreover, recommendations from the session will be mainstreamed into related work of its Co-Conveners, in particular, UNESCO’s biodiversity portfolio of activities, future developments spearheaded by DIVERSITAS and the advice on biodiversity and ecosystem services given by STAP to the next portfolio of projects funded by the Global Environmental Facility.

Preliminary Programme


  • Thomas Lovejoy: Science and Action in a Changing World
  • Anne Larigauderie: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Science for a Biodiverse Future Earth
  • Lidia Brito:  Further Efforts aimed at Mainstreaming the Contribution of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to STI for Sustainable Development
  • David Steuerman: Engaging Key Stakeholders in Addressing Prioritized Knowledge Needs

Discussion with audience

Expected Outcomes

A set of recommendations targeting the main constituencies having attended Rio+20 for wide circulation online and the constituencies served by the three session co-conveners.

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