Prof. Alan Deidun, resident academic within the Department of Geosciences of the Faculty of Science, has recently read a statement at the IPBES Plenary meeting being held virtually throughout the month of June.
He made the statement on behalf of the Secretariat of the DOALOS (Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea), which hosts the Group of Experts which in turn, as part of the UN’s Regular Process, are responsible for formulating World Ocean Assessments. The third cycle of this Regular Process is currently underway, with the Second World Ocean Assessment having been released by the UN in April 2021. Prof. Deidun is a co-author on two chapters within such a high-profile assessment.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body established by States to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development. It was established on 21 April 2012 by 94 Governments, currently being endorsed by almost 200 member states and observers. It is not a United Nations body, although the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides secretariat services to IPBES.
The work of IPBES can be broadly grouped into four complementary areas:
- (1) Assessments on specific themes (e.g. “Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production”); Methodological issues (e.g. “Scenarios and Modelling); and at both the regional and global levels (e.g. “Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”);
- (2) Policy Support for the identification of policy-relevant tools and methodologies, facilitating their use, and catalysing their further development;
- (3) Building Capacity & Knowledge by identifying and meeting the priority capacity, knowledge and data needs of member States, experts and stakeholders and
- (4) Communications & Outreach, by ensuring the widest reach and impact of our work.
Prof. Deidun is Malta’s Ocean Ambassador and is a member of the UN’s Group of Experts within the Regular Process. The Regular Process, including Socioeconomic Aspects (Regular Process), is a global mechanism established after the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development to regularly review the environmental, economic and social aspects of the world’s oceans, both current and foreseeable.
It is accountable to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and its purpose is to contribute to the strengthening of the regular scientific assessment of the state of the marine environment, in order to enhance the scientific basis for policymaking. Prof. Deidun is currently the Group of Experts’ delegate for IPBES, with other members of this Group being delegated on other important ocean governance fora, including the IPCC, UNEP, ISA, IOC, ITLOS and the IMO.