07.05.2019 | The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) yesterday published its detailed review of the state of nature. ZMT mangrove ecologist Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmer attended the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary meeting last week (29 April - 4 May) in Paris. As an observer of the four-day meeting he represented the Leibniz Association and its Biodiversity Working Group, and particularly ZMT, at this high-level international meeting with delegates from all member states.

The landmark 1800-page report from the IPBES has resulted in some shocking findings which have since been widely reported in the world’s media. The IPBES report warns that “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history -- and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely”.

"The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture", said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide."

"The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global", he said. "Through 'transformative change', nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably - this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values."

Despite increasing efforts to protect and even restore mangroves, they are still threatened by, e.g., human overexploitation, unsustainable land-use and pollution in many places.  

About the IPBES:
Often described as the "IPCC for biodiversity", IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body comprising more than 130 member Governments. Established by Governments in 2012, it provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet's biodiversity, ecosystems and the contributions they make to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets. For more information about IPBES and its assessments visit www.ipbes.net