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Supporting decision making and building capacity to support IPBES through national ecosystem assessments

As of: September 2020

Objective and activities

In January 2015 the IPBES Plenary approved a list of priority capacity building needs. Prominent amongst these is “enhancing the capacity to undertake, use and improve national assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. This project will support national ecosystem assessment in six developing countries, all IPBES Members. The assessments will be collaborative processes involving relevant stakeholders in building an improved understanding of the role and value of biodiversity and ecosystem services across sectors. Efforts will be made to ensure that lessons learned in each project country are also shared more widely amongst those planning and implementing assessments elsewhere. This project was developed at the request of the Task Force and in response to submissions to the Matchmaking Facility. The project will be closely associated with the work of the IPBES Task Force on Capacity Building and its technical support unit, and with the Sub-Global Assessment Network.

State of implementation/results

  • Capacity-building has been a key element of the work programme of IPBES since its establishment. Activities identified as a priority by the IPBES Plenary include enhancing the capacity to undertake, use and improve national ecosystem assessments. To support the work of IPBES, UNEP-WCMC is supporting four countries to undertake national ecosystem assessments (NEA).
  • This project builds on the German Government’s support to IPBES and will support national ecosystem assessments in Azerbaijan, including integration of the findings of the assessment processes into national and/or sub-national policy making frameworks.
  • The NEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina started in January 2019. The aim of the NEA is to develop a dialogue between the scientific community and decision-makers on the use of natural resources and nature conservation. For an informed dialogue and sustainable decision making, an analysis of the state of nature (biological/geological/ecological diversity) and the trends that result from existing management options is required. The great importance of the NEA is that BiH has the opportunity to compile all relevant research data and present them to decision-makers as basis of relevant information for informed decisions. As the focal point for the implementation of CBD and IPBES in BiH, the obligatory political partner of the project is the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism with whom the NEA team has great assistance and support. The implementation of the NEA in BiH’s complex administration is a challenge. Nevertheless, even though challenging, the NEA is very important at national level. The Assessment methodology is based on the principles, methods and guidelines defined in IPBES generic documents, primarily in the IPBES Guide on the production of assessments which is of great assistance for the NEA team.
  • The NEA project in Cambodia started in January 2019 and it aims to develop a dialogue between the scientific community and decision makers on the ecosystem services and human well-being and it challenge the tacit notion that the ecosystem health and human well-being are linearly related, and human well-being may affect ecosystem health. The assessment will be focused on human well-being through social and economic activities and environmental management, create direct and indirect drivers of change that can affect positively and negatively the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The project team has a great assistance and support from the Ministry of Environment (MoE), CBD and IPBES focal points who is the obligatory political partner. In this project Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) is playing a role as implementation partner. RUPP will coordinate and implement certain activities in the assessment assignment, provide experts and work with MoE and other stakeholders. The assessment methodology is following the principal guideline defines in IPBES documents (Example: Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). With international experts and UN partners, the team has received capacity building and able to manage through many challenges. The project disseminated at different levels from local to national level with various platforms such as meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences, teaching and social media. Results from the assessment will be evaluated and approved by Biodiversity Technical Working Group (BTWG) before public dissemination. Although we face some challenges in implementation of NEA projects in Cambodia, but the project is quite important for supporting sustainable development goals and government’s rectangular strategy at national level.
  • Grenada’s NEA activities in 2019 began with the launch of the project in June. This was followed by the planning and execution of the scoping exercise to determine key policy questions, priority ecosystems and ecosystem services for the main assessment. Highly participatory and multipronged approaches were used to facilitate maximum stakeholder engagement and input. For example, instead of facilitating only one national stakeholder workshop, six community- and national-level workshops were held targeting a range of civil society, private sector and Government stakeholders. A video competition was also held to expand stakeholder reach and input. These inputs fed into the draft scoping report and a complementary participatory scoping exercise video produced by stakeholders and the CANARI Technical Secretariat.

Project data

Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Grenada

Partner institution(s):
  • Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism - Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information - Grenada
  • Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources - Azerbaijan
  • National Council for Sustainable Development - Cambodia
  • Caribbean National Resources Institute (CANARI),Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH (UFZ),Royal University of Phnon Penh,University of Sarajevo,Western University

BMU grant:
3.926.922,00 €

10/2018  till  03/2023


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