• 26 March 2018

Landmark assessment reports present global understanding on the links between human well-being and nature


Ⓒ Adobe Stock / tolstnev
Ⓒ Adobe Stock, tolstnev

In response to the widespread loss of global biodiversity and the subsequent threats to human well-being, five landmark assessment reports have been published to describe the most up to date state of knowledge about biodiversity, ecosystems and nature's contributions to people.

The reports, published by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in collaboration with 127 Governments and more than 550 leading experts from over 100 countries, provide the best-available peer-reviewed evidence and policy options to inform better decisions affecting nature.

Researchers from the ECI have been involved in the reports, with Dr Pam Berry contributing as a Lead Author for Chapter 2, which examines Nature's benefits to people and quality of life. This chapter assesses the status and trends of nature's contributions to people and their well-being.

Commenting on the Chapter, Pam highlights the relevance of the reports for decision makers. She said: "through our evaluation of the evidence of the status and future of biodiversity and nature's contributions to economies, livelihoods, food security and well-being, we have been able to highlight the importance of actions and policies that address the threats to biodiversity and its loss"

Chapter 2 also assesses the different impacts that changes in nature's contributions to people will have on human health, security and justice. Pam was particularly involved in assessing the role that ecosystems have in the regulation of climate and air quality.

Dr Rob Dunford was a contributing author on Chapter 5 of the Regional Assessment for Europe and Central Asia which focussed on identifying current and future interactions between nature and society in this region. The chapter highlights the importance of considering the implications of political and societal decisions in determining how trade-offs between priorities are resolved.

The report draws on a wide range of modelling studies to assess possible scenarios. It concludes that proactive futures that deliberately mainstream environmental issues across sectors are more successful in mitigating undesirable cross-sectoral trade-offs, and more likely to result in positive impacts for both nature and people who depend on it.

Commenting on the report, Rob said: "It is great to see the challenges facing biodiversity being shown the same level of international attention as the IPCC does for climate change. IPBES reflects an enormous amount of work by the academic community to try and highlight just how much nature contributes to human well-being as well as how much we need to do for it to protect these contributions for future generations".

"IPBES reflects an enormous amount of work by the academic community to try and highlight just how much nature contributes to human well-being as well as how much we need to do for it to protect these contributions for future generations"

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