Professor Josef Settele appointed co-chair of the team of authors
The Intergovernmental Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has begun a comprehensive global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The Federal Government supports the work of the scientists. A German scientist, Professor Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), was appointed co-chair of the team of authors.
IPBES, which was established in 2012, is the biological diversity counterpart of the International Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. It has now been tasked with a survey assessing the current state of global biodiversity and a projection of developments up to 2050. A major component of the survey will be the investigation of the impacts on human well-being. The report is due to be finalised in 2019. The assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services is currently the most important report IPBES is working on; it will cover land, inland waters and coastal areas and also extend to the oceans.
Professor Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has been appointed co-chair of the team of authors. Together with professors Sandra Díaz from Argentina and Eduardo Brondízio from both Brazil and the United States, professor Settele will lead the compilation of the report over the next three years, which will be put together by more than 130 authors from around the world. The working group will be given a head office at the international IPBES Secretariat in Bonn to carry out its work in the future. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety will support the office with an amount of approximately 250,000 euros over the coming three years. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research will support the work of professor Settele on behalf of IPBES with 700,000 euros over the same period.
Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka commented: "Professor Settele, a German scientist with excellent expertise, will be substantially involved in compiling this important report. Human well-being relies on the state of global biodiversity. This issue requires scientific facts and data to develop strategies for the future that can be communicated to the public".
Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks added: "Policies need to be based on sound facts in order to allow politicians to make good, science-based decisions. The report will provide this basis and I hope it will pave the way for ambitious political decisions for the conservation of global biodiversity."
Within the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Professor Settele is working on the biocoenosis research in the Community Ecology Department. He is also professor for ecology at the Martin-Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg and a member of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). In the past he served as coordinating lead author and as lead author for IPBES and for the IPCC.
IPBES is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides policy-makers with objective and reliable information on the state of and trends in biodiversity and its ecosystem services. It does not carry out any research, but summarises the current state of knowledge and assesses it with the help of international experts. The assessments of these groups of experts serve as a basis for policy-makers to develop options for measures to conserve biodiversity. Currently, 125 countries are a member of IPBES.