By Stephen Leahy*
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 6, 2011 (Tierramérica)
After five years of preparation the international community is expected to launch the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services this year. For some of its proponents, even the decisions of the World Trade Organisation should be subject to its analysis.
IPBES would be analogous to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but focused on biological diversity.
The idea behind this effort is that decisions by all levels of government are largely responsible for the decline in species and ecosystems that support life on the Earth.
To put an end to species decline, governments need an independent, authoritative scientific body that can assess the impacts of proposed policies and decisions that biodiversity experts have long recommended.
“People generally have yet to appreciate the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and how much is at stake in biodiversity loss,” Charles Perrings, professor of environmental economics at Arizona State University in the U.S. southwest, told Tierramérica.
“Biodiversity” is the term used to describe the wide variety of living things that comprise the planet’s biological infrastructure and provide us with health, wealth, food, water, fuel and other vital services. Continue reading