News Release

Five major new biodiversity assessments to be launched as 750 world experts and policymakers meet

Colombia hosts 6th session of IPBES Plenary, March 17-24; After 3 years of work by 550 experts worldwide, 4 reports on regional biodiversity and 1 on land degradation scheduled for approval; Member States will also consider future IPBES work

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Terry Collins Assoc

Medellin, Colombia -- Beginning with an official opening ceremony to be addressed by the President of Colombia on Saturday, leading experts from around the world will convene here for eight days with policymakers from more than 115 countries to finalize landmark reports from five major expert assessments, focused on biodiversity, nature's contributions to people and issues of land degradation and restoration.

An estimated 750 delegates will participate in the sixth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES6), chaired by Sir Robert Watson, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Medellín, from 17-26 March.

"Taken together, these five peer-reviewed assessment reports represent the single most important expert contribution to our global understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem services of the past decade," said Watson. The assessments will provide unprecedented insights into the status of global biodiversity and land quality, both of which are essential to quality of life and healthy, productive ecosystems.

Often called 'the IPCC for biodiversity,' IPBES is the global science-policy platform tasked with providing the best-available evidence to inform better decisions about nature.

The reports being launched at #IPBES6 were completed over three years by 550 scientists and experts from more than 100 countries.

Four of the studies present the state of biodiversity and nature's contributions to people in the Americas; Asia and the Pacific; Africa; Europe and Central Asia. The launch of these regional assessments will be webcast live with Spanish interpretation, and can be viewed online at on Friday, 23 March, 2018, from 8 a.m. local time / 9 a.m. EDT / 1 p.m. GMT. To confirm the corresponding time in your region, go to:

The fifth assessment report assesses the global problem of land degradation and available remedies. This launch will also be webcast live with Spanish interpretation, and can be viewed online at on Monday, March 26, 2018 from 8.30 a.m. local time / 9.30 a.m. EDT / 1.30 p.m. GMT. UK, Europe: please note weekend change to daylight savings time. To confirm the corresponding time worldwide in your region, go to:

The five reports will be key inputs to a comprehensive IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, due for release in 2019, the first such global evaluation since the authoritative 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

In addition to helping decision makers evaluate lessons learned and progress on major global development commitments - such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change - the reports will also provide vital information for setting biodiversity targets for the period after 2020.

"Biodiversity and nature's contributions are essential to sustain the economic well-being, food security and quality of life of all people," said Watson. "As one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, Colombia provides the ideal setting for #IPBES6, and we thank the Government and people of Colombia for extending their warm and generous hospitality for these vital global discussions."

The IPBES Plenary session and the release of the five reports takes place in a week of major global environmental events:

19 March: Launch of the World Water Development Report (UN Water and UNESCO)
20 March: International Day of Happiness (linking to values of nature beyond material goods)
21 March: International Day of Forests
22 March: World Water Day, and the launch of the UN International Decade for Action 'Water for Sustainable Development' (2018-2028)
23 March: Launch of the four IPBES regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services and World Meteorological Day (with strong links to both climate change and biodiversity)
24 March: Earth Hour (20:30 local time worldwide, with WWF and the Convention on Biological Diversity)
26 March: Launch of the IPBES assessment report on land degradation and restoration

Speaking about the confluence of so many important environmental activities, the Executive Secretary of IPBES, Dr. Anne Larigauderie said: "There is a rising awareness of the need for nature and the environment to be at the heart of all development planning - IPBES is proud to be able to offer decisionmakers around the world evidence they need for better policies and more effective action for the sustainable future we want."


Note to Editors:

Enquiries and Interviews: or +57-310-626-6641 or +1-416-878-8712

To apply for online media accreditation - to receive the five reports and related media resources under strict embargo once they have been approved, go to:

For more information about the assessment reports:

General Primer

Land Degradation and Restoration

The Americas



Europe and Central Asia

Related media releases:

Major IPBES reports on biodiversity / land degradation: News conferences webcast

Biodiversity, ecosystem services, land degradation: IPBES launching 5 major assessments

The IPBES assessment report on pollinators, 2016 (covered by 1,300+ media sites worldwide):

Pollinators Vital to Our Food Supply Under Threat

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