Minister Röttgen: Great success reflecting Germany’s commitment to the conservation of biological diversity
At a meeting in Panama yesterday, the international community decided that the UN Secretariat for the newly established Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES for short, will be located in Bonn, Germany. This decision in favour of Bonn also presents an international acknowledgement of Germany’s continued and convincing commitment to the conservation of biological diversity.
Federal Environment Minister Röttgen commented: "The decision to set up the IPBES Secretariat in Bonn is a great success. We managed to achieve this despite strong competition: With its decision the international community has acknowledged our long-standing commitment to the global conservation of biological diversity. At the same time, this decision further strengthens Bonn as a UN location. The Federal Government in cooperation with the city of Bonn once again attracted an important secretariat to Bonn. IPBES - just as the IPCC does with regard to climate change issues - will provide independent information on the global status and development of biological diversity. Bonn thus becomes an important centre of international biodiversity policy."
The German offer to host the secretariat was all the more convincing as there are already 18 UN organisations in Bonn - with around 1 000 employees working in the fields of environment and climate protection and nature conservation; the majority of their offices are located at the UN Campus in the old parliament district on the bank of the river Rhine. The Secretariats of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS) will be of special importance for the future work of the IBPES Secretariat. Bonn is THE location for the synthesis of environmental protection and development.
The main task of IPBES will be to support political decision-makers by providing them reliably with independent and trustworthy information on the status and the development of biodiversity.
IPBES is to collect scientific data globally, analyse them and provide options for action in order to support national governments in their efforts to conserve biological diversity. It will help emerging and developing countries to build up their own capacities, e.g. by promoting (young) scientists, setting up scientific cooperations and facilitating access to specialised literature and data bases.
UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, had invited around 300 delegates from more than 100 countries to come to Panama from 16 to 21 April to discuss potential functions, tasks, legal status, administrative structure and financing of the new body.
Germany has always been a reliable partner in the international conservation of biodiversity, stepping up its commitment significantly in recent years. During the German CBD Presidency (2008 to 2010), the German government significantly advanced the negotiation process for establishing IPBES and also contributed financially to its realisation. The German government has provided an additional 500 million euros from 2009 to 2012 for the protection and sustainable use of forests and other important ecosystems, and will increase this to 500 million euros per year from 2013 onwards.