“IPBES launches the Summary for Policy Makers of the Values Assessment, co-chaired by Unai Pascual, BC3’s Ikerbasque Research Professor, 11th July.”
Approved on Saturday, by representatives of the 139 member States of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) the Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature finds that one of the main reasons behind the current biodiversity crisis is the dominant focus in political and economic decisions on short-term profits and economic growth, at the expense of considering the multiple values of nature.
The report synthesizes the information from more than 13,000 sources of information, including scientific studies and information that is associated with other knowledge systems, such as those of indigenous peoples and local communities. The preparation of the report has taken four years and produced by around 100 world experts chosen by IPBES from every region of the word. Another 200 experts have also provided inputs to the report. Unai Pascual, Ikerbasque Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) is one of the co-Chair of the report. Three other researchers from BC3 also participated as experts (Ignacio Palomo, Bosco Lliso and Noelia Zafra).
The Values Assessment report provides tools for governments and a range of other stakeholders (e.g., NGOs, business sector, media, academia) to help recognize and measure the diversity of the values of nature. It also provides guidelines to integrate the diverse values of nature into decision-making. In addition, the report assesses and offers information of how to apply more than 50 valuation methods that currently exist to estimate nature´s values.
According to Unai Pascual “far beyond the values of nature reflected by markets for example for food, water, and energy , the report highlights that many non-market values are essential for the wellbeing of people around the world and that by aligning most of the political and economic decisions based on macroeconomic indicators such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), nature is negatively impacted, with potential disastrous consequences for people´s wellbeing”.
The report emphasizes the importance of understanding and recognizing how different worldviews and knowledge systems influence the ways people interact with and value nature. “With more than 50 valuation methods and approaches, there is no shortage of ways and tools to make visible the values of nature” said Prof. Unai Pascual, “However to date there have been very limited attempts to integrate nature´s values into policy making and when this is done, the values that are considered do not reflect the diversity by which people relate to and value nature .”
The report launched by IPBES follows closely from the 2018 Global Assessment report of IPBES which estimated that more than one million species may be extinct if the current socio-economic systems are not transformed. The Global Assessment pointed out at the importance of the values of nature that underpin decision making. Prof. Pascual also notes that “The Values Assessment of IPBES provides useful and practical information on how to activate the diversity of values of nature for systemic transformative change towards more just and sustainable futures for people and nature”.
The IPBES Values Assessment report arrives just in advance of the expected agreement next December by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on a new global biodiversity framework for the next decade.
Extended information and the link to the SPM: