The United Nations has announced that the international body to prevent “bio-diversity loss” has passed it’s final hurdle and has been given approval as an international body to coordinate all laws to protect bio-diversity.
The Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES) is designed to mirror the IPCC and produce reports and recommendations on how to protect the diversity of life, which is allegedly being lost throughout the world.
The UN made the announcement in a press release on its wesbite, just before Christmas holidays:
21 December 2010 – A new international body aimed at reversing the unprecedented loss of species and ecosystems vital to life on Earth due to human activity has passed its final hurdle with approval by the United Nations General Assembly.
In a resolution adopted by consensus, the Assembly yesterday called on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to take the necessary steps to set up the Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the final approval needed for the body for which the groundwork had been laid at UNEP-sponsored meetings earlier this year.
“IPBES represents a major breakthrough in terms of organizing a global response to the loss of living organisms and forests, freshwaters, coral reefs and other ecosystems that underpin all life, including economic life, on Earth,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said today.
UN News Centre. UN Authorizes New Body to Stem Loss of Ecosystems Vital to Life.
Mirroring the IPCC the new body aimed to examine what the UN called “transformational policy options” to “bring about real change”:
IPBES, which in many ways mirrors the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has helped to catalyze government action on global warming, will foster the search for government action needed to reverse the accelerating degradation of the natural world and its species, which some experts put at 1,000 times the natural progression.
Its role includes high-quality peer reviews of the wealth of science on the issue from research institutes across the globe and outlining transformational policy options to bring about real change.
What exactly does “outlining transformational policy options to bring about real change” mean in English? Your guess is as good as mine. But it will involve large amounts of money. Your money:
It said an annual $45 billion investment into protected areas alone could secure delivery of ecosystem services worth some $5 trillion a year.
So what’s the next step for this new IPCC-type body?
UNEP, as the interim Secretariat of the new independent body, will now organize a plenary or meeting of Governments in 2011, the first year of the International Decade of Biodiversity, to decide which country will house the IPBES and which institutions will host it along with other institutional arrangements.
We’re in safe hands.
Barry, in the comments below, has pointed out that their claims of biodiversity loss seem similarly based on modelling and guess-work, rather than empirical science and observation. He’s right – it is.
Most of the estimates of species loss are based on the work of two academics, Norman Myers and E.O. Wilson. It won’t surprise readers to learn that both are strong believers in neo-Malthusianism and both rely very heavily on modelling. Myers himself says that he relied on “heroic extrapolation” for his work on biodiversity loss.
Wilson’s pet theory is “sociobiology” – I’m sure you can figure out what that actually means in practice. In the 1960s Wilson was the target of protests from the International Committee Against Racism who chanted “Racist Wilson you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” at one of his speeches on sociobiology.
For an excellent, in-depth article which explains the faulty maths behind extrapolations of species loss, see Stephen’s Budiansky’s excellent “Liberal Curmudgeon” blog here and a superb follow-up article here.