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IPBES Receives Comments on Draft Rules of Procedure, Work Programme

December 2011: The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has received comments on the draft elements of the IPBES work programme, as well as on the rules of procedure and related IPBES procedures. The draft elements were circulated in October 2011, following the first meeting of the plenary session on IPBES, for review by governments and other stakeholders. Interested parties also were invited to submit comments on the procedures.

On the draft elements, China noted that further discussions on this issue should strictly follow the principles and functions decided in the Busan Outcome of June 2010. The EU and its 27 member States commented that the work programme should be internally integrated and coherent, by clearly identifying how different elements of the work programme fit together in both content and timing. Mexico noted the importance of defining the identification of information relevant to elaborating public policies. The US highlighted that some specificity is still missing, making it hard to understand the first steps of enacting an integrated work programme. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) noted that the phrasing of activities must create a flexible framework in order to enable a wide range of actions to be directly implemented by IPBES.

On the rules of procedure, China highlighted that the plenary should make decisions by consensus, especially on substantive matters. The EU and its 27 member States underscored that membership of the Plenary remains a topic deserving further attention along with clarification on the difference between “membership of the plenary” and “membership of the platform,” as well as the difference between “membership” and “participation.” The US said IPBES should follow the rules of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rather than those of the governing bodies of intergovernmental organizations and multilateral environmental treaties (MEAs).

The IPBES Secretariat announced that comments on both documents will be incorporated into preparations for the second session of a plenary meeting, scheduled to take place from 16-21 April 2012, in Panama City, Panama. [Comments on Work Programme and Rules of Procedure]