A bird
30 April 2019

This week France hosts the IPBES, the "IPCC of biodiversity"

From 29 April to 4 May 2019, the 7th plenary session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is being held in Paris. It is a pivotal meeting in a context of unprecedented international mobilisation to protect biodiversity.

Protecting biodiversity: why is it urgent?

For decades, regions throughout the world have been witnessing increasing biodiversity erosion.

Experts report that the current rate of species loss is 100 to 1000 times higher than the natural rate of extinction. Some scientists even suggest that a process is taking place towards a sixth mass extinction of species, the most recent being that of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. However, the current crisis is occurring much more quickly (the extinction of the dinosaurs spanned several hundred thousand years) and is almost entirely being caused by human activities.

Yet it is this rich biodiversity which provides us with food, drinking water, air, medicines and a large proportion of our energy. Concealed behind its decline are the issues of major economic losses, dwindling livelihoods, the precarious state of our energy security and the deterioration of every individual’s quality of life.

France is committed to combating the extinction of species and their habitats

This week France is hosting the 7th plenary session of the IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Under the auspices of the UN, 150 scientists from 50 countries – supported by more than 300 experts – have been working for three years to compile a report on the state of the world’s biodiversity, the first global report produced in 15 years. The report, which will be published on 6 May, will serve as one of the reference documents for drawing up the future post-2020 global framework for biodiversity.

This crucial meeting is an opportunity for experts to challenge policy makers and provide them with an authoritative scientific document to help them make informed decisions.

In keeping with the Paris Climate Agreement, France would like to create global momentum to protect biodiversity, on the same scale as that aimed at fighting climate change. The IPBES will therefore be followed, shortly afterwards, by the G7 Environment Ministers’ meeting in Metz. This is also why the World Conservation Congress will be held in June 2020 in Marseille. Furthermore, since 4 July 2018, France’s efforts to preserve biodiversity have been strengthened through the Biodiversity Plan.