Gastbeitrag des ECA-Netzwerks

Hilde Eggermont, IPBES National Focal Point in Belgien und Koordinatorin der belgischen Biodiversitätsplattform, berichtet von den Aktivitäten des "European and Central Asia Network of organisations engaging in IPBES" (auf Englisch).

To efficiently implement its work programme, IPBES calls for the appointment of National Focal Points (NFPs) by its members, the set-up of Technical Support Units (TSUs) for particular work programme deliverables and, on a voluntary basis, the commitment to an Open-ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders (ONet). Ideally, these formally agreed structures can be supplemented by further sub-global mechanisms that support science-policy dialogues on issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services within a country or region, thereby strengthening the evidence base for decision making.

Following the successful co-organisation of two Pan-European Stakeholder Consultations (Leipzig 2013, Basel 2014), the national biodiversity platforms/focal points of Germany, Switzerland, France, UK, and Belgium therefore decided to join forces on a more continuous basis. They put in place the so-called ECA network : the European and Central Asia Network of organisations engaging in IPBES. Since its inception around 2015, other countries have joined the ECA network including Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden. The overall aim of this informal network is to support national platforms and focal points by providing a common space for sharing knowledge, resources, opinions and lessons learned regarding the support of the IPBES objectives at national level (e.g. engagement of experts, organisation of uptake events, development of guidance documents, etc.). As such, the network also hopes to support the establishment of national platforms in other interested countries, in close collaboration with the IPBES Technical Support Unit on Capacity building and ONet (supported by IUCN).

Over the years, the ECA network continued its efforts to gather yearly/bi-yearly Pan-European Stakeholder Consultations (Leipzig 2016, Vácrátót 2017, Bern 2018), bringing together representatives from a great variety of institutions and organisations, including ministries and administrative bodies, NGOs and civil society organisations, as well as scientific institutions from the three UN regions: Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG), the Eastern European Group (EEG) and the Asia Pacific Group. During these regional consultation meetings, stakeholders have the opportunity to network and strengthen their capacities for engaging in IPBES. The 6th Pan-European Stakeholder Consultation should have taken place in the Berezinsky Reserve in Belarus, but due to covid-19 travel restrictions the meeting has been postponed until early 2021. To keep the momentum, the ECA network still decided to organise a virtual meeting that will take place towards the end of September 2020, with a key focus on the review of the First Order Draft of the Invasive Alien Species assessment.

By moving the center of activity towards Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the ECA network also hopes to expand and engage with these countries in a more effective manner. National Focal Points from across the ECA region are currently being contacted, expecting many more will join the ECA network. As such, the ECA network can continue to grow and strengthen IPBES!

IPBES National Focal Points can become a member of the ECA network by contacting Lise Goudeseune, Belgian Biodiversity Platform.

To receive updates on Pan-European Stakeholder Consultations, you can register to the Pan-European Stakeholder mailing list here.

More information on the ECA network can be found on