On September 22, world leaders are gathering in New York at the United Nations General Assembly for the Biodiversity Summit, which coincides with the final day of talks on the Millennium Development Goals. The main messages from conservationists and civil society are that concrete action must be taken to reduce biodiversity loss, including through making more explicit linkages between biodiversity and climate change, and that governments must significantly increase spending on these issues. Representatives of IUCN and Conservation International, among others, urged leaders to consider the direct impacts of biodiversity loss on livelihoods and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (see BBC article here).
In addition, plans for governments to sign off on the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) halted, with the G77 and China bloc refusing to do so until the Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing is finalized (see AFP article here). The proposed IPBES is designed to fulfil a similar function to the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Indigenous peoples have since established the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA) as a grassroots response to the IPCC.