Summary of the IPBES report on the deterioration of ecosystems

Published on
May 7, 2019

It was all over the news this week, the report of the IPBES of which a summary of 40 pages was published. It gives the state of the art of the devastating impact of humans on nature. The report states that one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction within the coming decades.

The summary of the report written for policymakers, was published on 6 May 2019. The summary was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary meeting last week in Paris. The complete report of the IPBES will be published later this year.

The key message is that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, that the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. This was stated in the Media Release of IPBES. The key messages from the summary are:

A: Nature and its vital contributions to people, which together embody biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are deteriorating worldwide

B. Direct and indirect drivers of change have accelerated during the past 50 years

C. Goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors

D. Nature can be conserved, restored and used sustainably while simultaneously meeting other global societal goals through urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change.

The IPBES is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It is an independent intergovernmental body, established by member States in 2012. The objective of IPBES is to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.