On Saturday, July 9, the Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approved the methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services (referred to as the “assessment of the diverse values and valuation of nature” or “the values assessment”). Representatives of the 139 IPBES member states along with 82 scientists and experts from around the world agreed the way nature is valued in political and economic decisions is both a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis and a vital opportunity to address it. The IPBES Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the values assessment shines a light on the rich diversity of peoples’ relationships with nature, the value systems those relationships are based on, and the need to incorporate diverse values of nature into efforts to reverse nature’s precipitous decline.
This IPBES assessment will advance U.S. efforts to give voice to those who are often excluded from decision-making but are closest to nature, including indigenous peoples and local communities, and to promote gender and intergenerational equity.
The United States is a strong supporter of IPBES and was instrumental in establishing it in 2012. We are celebrating IPBES’ 10-year anniversary by reaffirming our commitment to advancing science and the role of science in decision-making. The United States has also worked in IPBES to advance the inclusion of indigenous peoples and local communities and incorporation, with their consent, of indigenous and local knowledge into the IPBES assessments.