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Kathmandu, 5 February: Over 130 leading scientists and subject experts from 70 countries have arrived in Kathmandu for the third author meeting of the IPBES nexus assessment, which will examine the interlinkages among the sustainable development goals related to food and water security, health for all, protecting biodiversity, and combating climate change.
The meeting will be held from 5-9 February, followed by a meeting to advance a summary for policymakers from 10-11 February. The meetings are being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and will take place at the ICIMOD headquarters in Kathmandu.
This is the first time an IPBES assessment meeting is being held in South Asia.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body, with 145 member states, established to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services. It was established in Panama City, on 21 April 2012 by 94 governments. The main objective of IPBES is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop biodiversity policies. IPBES – like the IPCC for climate change – plays a crucial role in assessing and evaluating the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services and provides guidance to inform policies and foster global collaboration.
“In addition to the privilege of hosting an IPBES assessment author meeting of such importance, we see this is an opportunity to highlight critical biodiversity and related issues in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) to a very distinguished group of global experts and the IPBES Secretariat,” says Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD. “To protect the HKH region, we must collaborate, make scaled investments, and forge partnerships for transformative change.”
The overall aim of the nexus assessment is to facilitate enhanced understanding of the complex and dynamic interrelationships between biodiversity, water, food, and health, in the context of climate change, and to identify options to improve policies and foster greater understanding and collaboration across the nexus-related sectors.
Reflecting on the importance of the meeting for the region, Sunita Chaudhary, Ecosystem Services Specialist at ICIMOD and lead author for the assessment, noted: “It is high time that global leaders and scientists recognise and act for mountains and mountain communities.” Nakul Chettri, Senior Biodiversity Specialist at ICIMOD also highlighted: “Global science-policy processes such as IPBES and IPCC could be instrumental to highlight the fate of mountains that cover close to one quarter of Earth’s land surface.”
“IPBES is very pleased that this vital author meeting – for the most complex assessment we have ever undertaken – is being hosted in Kathmandu,” said Dr. Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of IPBES. “The warm hospitality and invaluable expertise of our ICIMOD colleagues, combined with the awe-inspiring biodiversity and vistas of Nepal, provide excellent impetus for the final stages of the drafting process of the IPBES nexus assessment.”
The IPBES assessments have highlighted critical global challenges and priority actions, informing, and shaping conservation planning and priority setting across the world. The IPBES assessment of invasive alien species, published in 2023, highlighted the threats that more than 3,500 of the more than 37,000 alien species introduced by humans to new regions and biomes around the world, pose to nature, economy, food security, and human health. In addition to their role in 60 percent of global plant and animal extinctions, the annual costs of biological invasions were estimated at more than a staggering $423 billion in 2019. Similarly, the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, published in 2019, warned that nature was “declining at rates unprecedented in human history” and that some 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades. The IPBES Pandemics Report (Escaping the ‘Era of Pandemics’, 2020), warned of more frequent, deadly, and costly pandemics, underlining that the human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on the environment.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalisation and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues. We support regional transboundary programmes through partnership with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream – now, and for the future.
For more information, please contact:
Neraz Tuladhar, Media Officer, ICIMOD – +977 1 5275222 EXT:115
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