Report on the PESC-6 Virtual Event: Outcomes emerging from the 6th Pan-European Stakeholder Consultation (PESC-6) meeting
The two-day meeting took place virtually, and brought together a large number of IPBES experts from Western and Eastern Europe, and from Central Asia. It was aimed at supporting the engagement of newcomers with IPBES work processes by providing information about the functions, procedures and form of IPBES.
The virtual conference was held on 5. and 6. October 2020 and brought together 70 experts from Western and Eastern Europe, and from Central Asia, including National IPBES Focal Points, representatives of national IPBES coordination units and their relevant collaborators (box). The meeting also included members of IPBES expert groups, representatives of the IPBES Technical Support Unit to support capacity-building, and representatives from the IPBES Secretariat. The two-day meeting was aimed at supporting the engagement of newcomers with IPBES work processes by providing information about the functions, procedures and form of IPBES, and exchanging ideas and experiences on ways to more effectively and efficiently organise and coordinate domestic activities to support IPBES processes under its ongoing work programme.
At the start of the meeting, Hilde Eggermont (BBPf) introduced the participants to the ECA-Network which constitutes an umbrella network consisting of numerous national IPBES coordination units (box). Financial support for the meeting was kindly provided by the Norwegian Environment Agency and EKLIPSE to enable Russian simultaneous translation during the two-day meeting. This supported the continued efforts of the ECA-Network to further develop and consolidate its regional and intra-regional communication on IPBES-related aspects and develop capacities where required to support IPBES processes.
Organisers and collaborators
Institute for Biodiversity (IBN)
Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPf)
Fondation pour la recherche sur la biodiversité (FRB)
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)
German IPBES Coordination Office
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)
IPBES i Danmark
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
IPBES Capacity Building Technical Support Unit (TSU)
Open-ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders (ONet)
IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe & Central Asia (IUCN ECARO)
For those participants who were new to the IPBES process, we developed practical guidelines for the review of IPBES assessments before the two-day online event. Together with the information about IPBES processes provided by Flore Lafaye de Micheaux (ONet/IUCN/IPBES) and Hilde Eggermont, this booklet provides information on how to comment IPBES assessments. The booklet was presented by Agnes Hallosserie (FRB) and will remain available online.
The meeting was a unique opportunity for newcomers to the PESC meeting to engage in the process of analysing and jointly commenting on the First Order Draft (FOD) of the IPBES Invasive Alien Species Assessment. Experts also had the opportunity to exchange information directly with the authors of the report who attended the virtual meeting. For instance, some experts pointed out relevant literature published in Russian on aspects regarding invasive alien species in their region that had not been considered in the draft assessment. The experts’ comments on the FOD of the Invasive Alien Species assessment were then compiled by the organisers, cross-checked for accuracy and approval, and then submitted to the IPBES Secretariat by the ECA-Network on behalf of the participants, and pursuant to the procedures of IPBES.
Furthermore, Axel Paulsch and Mikhail Shakhnazarov from IBN gave a presentation on the capacity building needs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They showed the results of a survey carried out in the ECA region to identify the needs to develop knowledge and awareness about IPBES, a better use of IPBES assessments in policy-making, and to develop national biodiversity platforms and establish networks of National IPBES Focal Points. They have also produced IPBES introduction brochures in English and Russian which are available online.
For further details on the results of the two-day discussions, please see the wrap ups compiled by Mariam Akhtar-Schuster (German IPBES Coordination Office) and Eva Spehn (Swiss Biodiversity Forum, SCNAT). The technical and general coordination of the meeting was handled by Lise Goudeseune (BBPf).
We hope to continue the PESC meetings in order to enhance engagement of experts from Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the work processes of IPBES. Results which have emerged from workshops carried out by IBN in Eastern Europe and Central Asia show that respondents in these regions have identified concrete needs to develop knowledge and awareness about IPBES, a better use of IPBES assessments in policy-making, and to develop national biodiversity platforms and establish networks of IPBES focal points.
We shall see, whether and how the mandates, functions and forms of national IPBES coordination units collaborating within the ECA-Network will be informing national and regional efforts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to enhance coordination of domestic or regional IPBES-related processes. The ECA-network is very pleased to announce that recently nine more countries have decided to join the network: Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Uzbekistan. The ECA-Network now includes a total of 18 national focal points. This development emphasizes the contribution of the PESC conferences in supporting regional IPBES processes. Joining the ECA-Network certainly offers emerging structures in these regions an opportunity to engage in knowledge exchange, and participate in pan-European communication and collaboration in the long term. In a next step, IBN will organise, probably in March 2021, an online workshop on the pre-conditions and possibilities of establishing a regional biodiversity platform in Central Asia.
More information on the PESC outcomes can be found here:
(this information is provided by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (BBPf), the German IPBES Coordination Office, the Institute for Biodiversity (IBN), and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT))