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The 2nd Work Program of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services/IPBES* * This text has been adapted from document IPBES 7/6

The 2nd Work Program of IPBES covers the period 2019 - 2030, and it is a rolling plan, i.e., it can be modified and adjusted to new requirements during its development. It aims to advance the achievement of the overall objective of IPBES, which 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.

In line with the overall objective, the policy framework for the work program up to 2030 corresponds to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the biodiversity-related conventions and other biodiversity and ecosystem service processes (

The rolling work program up to 2030 is entirely demand-driven, based on requests received from 5 multilateral environmental agreements, 4 United Nation bodies, 13 governments plus the European Union, and 10 NGOs ( It is expected to inform all stakeholders in the implementation of their activities to support the achievement of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the 2050 vision for biodiversity, as well as other work under multilateral environmental agreements related to biodiversity. The work program may also inform the implementation of the Paris Agreement with respect to matters related to the links between biodiversity and climate change. It also places strong emphasis on promoting collaboration among science, policy and practice; scientific disciplines; different types of knowledge; and the four functions of IPBES, up to 2030.

The new work program is guided by the operating principles of IPBES, which are to collaborate with existing initiatives on biodiversity and ecosystem services; to be scientifically independent and ensure credibility, relevance and legitimacy through peer review of its work and transparency in its decision-making process; to use clear, transparent and scientifically credible processes for the exchange, sharing and using of data, information and technologies; to recognize and respect the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems; to provide policy-relevant information, but not policy-prescriptive advice; to integrate capacity-building into all relevant aspects of its work; to recognize the unique biodiversity and scientific knowledge thereof within and among regions and the need for the full and effective participation of developing countries and balanced regional representation and participation in its structure and work; to take an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach; to recognize the need for gender equity in all relevant aspects of its work; to address terrestrial, marine and inland water biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interactions; and to ensure the full use of national, subregional and regional knowledge, as appropriate, including by ensuring a bottom-up approach.

The rolling work program up to 2030 initially focuses on three topics arising from the prioritization of the responses to the first call for requests, inputs and suggestions (see a draft version at The three topics, which are all aligned with the overall objective of IPBES and its policy framework, are:

  1. Promoting biodiversity to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the Sustainable Development Goals related to biodiversity need to be achieved simultaneously with the other goals, especially those that are strongly linked to biodiversity through impact and/or dependence. The challenge is to achieve health for all, with food, water and energy security, including through the enhanced use of biodiversity, without adversely impacting biodiversity, water quality or climate and in the context of global change, including climate change. To address this challenge, the deliverables under this topic will look at the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health and between biodiversity and climate change, with a view to informing the development of policies and actions;

  2. Understanding the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and determinants of transformative change to achieve the 2050 vision for biodiversity: Achieving the 2050 vision in conjunction with key human development goals requires fundamental changes at many levels, from individuals through communities and businesses to society at large. The deliverables related to this topic are aimed at understanding and identifying factors in human society at both the individual and collective levels, including behavioral, social, cultural, economic, institutional, technical and technological dimensions, that can be leveraged to bring about transformative change in favor of biodiversity while taking into account broader social and economic imperatives in the context of sustainable development;

  3. Measuring business impact and dependence on biodiversity and nature's contributions to people: Appropriate tools for measuring dependence and impact are crucial to enabling businesses to assess and monitor their dependence and impact with a view to reducing adverse effects and related material and reputational risks, and to developing the business case for long-term sustainability. They are also important for promoting public accountability, informing regulatory agencies and guiding financial investments. Deliverables under this topic include categorization of the ways in which businesses depend on, and impact, biodiversity and nature's contributions to people, and work related to criteria and indicators for measuring this dependence and impact, taking into consideration how such metrics can be integrated into other aspects of sustainability.

The planned assessments included in this new work program are:

  1. A thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health.

  2. A technical paper on the interlinkage between biodiversity and climate change.

  3. A thematic assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change.

  4. A methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature's contributions to people.

  • *
    This text has been adapted from document IPBES 7/6

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    13 June 2019
  • Date of issue
Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil