'IPCC for biodiversity' comes closer to reality

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London, June 14(ANI): A new science body has been approved by more than 90 countries to monitor the ecological state of the planet and its natural resources, which will operate much like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The plan for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will come before the general assembly of the United Nations, slated to meet in September, for official approval.

The IPBES is likely to meet for the first time in 2011.

The organisation will conduct periodic assessments of the diversity of life on earth and its 'ecosystem services', which will answer questions about how much biodiversity is declining and what the implications of extinctions and ecosystem change are for humanity.

Assessments will take place on global, regional and sub-regional scales, and it is likely to be accepted as authoritative and unbiased summaries of the state of the science.

Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that like the IPCC, the IPBES would not recommend particular courses of action.

"We will not and must not be policy prescriptive. That is critical, or it will kill the process," Nature quoted Robert Watson, as saying.

IPBES will also take a hand in training environmental scientists in the developing world, both with a to-be-determined budget of its own and by alerting funders about gaps in global expertise. (ANI)

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