Nature-based Solutions highlighted in the IPBES Report
The much anticipated global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was launched on May 6th. The report paints a bleak picture. While our dependence on natural resources has grown dramatically, the capacity of nature to provide these resources is being severely diminished due to accelerating rates of biodiversity loss. This is largely being driven by industrial agriculture, overexploitation and climate change, and fuelled by perverse subsidies and a flawed financial system. To address these issues, the report emphasizes the urgent need to incentivise environmental responsibility, remove perverse subsidies, strengthen the rule of law and promote NbS. Indeed, NbS and “nature-friendly” solutions are highlighted as a cost-effective way of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, and the report is clear about the fundamental role of natural ecosystems in “reducing vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters”. However, it urges great caution around land-based mitigation, stating that “large-scale bioenergy plantations with carbon capture and storage and widespread afforestation of non-forest ecosystems would have negative impacts on biodiversity and would threaten food and water security and local livelihoods, including by intensifying social conflict”. Read more.