Framing a Nordic IPBES-like study

Introductory Study including Scoping for a Nordic Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, based on IPBES methods and procedures

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Natural resource depletion and adverse impacts from environmental degradation, including loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their associated knowledge, add to and exacerbate the list of challenges which humanity faces. In order to address these challenges, policy makers need credible and independent information that take into account the complex relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem services and people. To meet these needs the "Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" (IPBES) was established in 2012. Its purpose is to assess the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and essential services they provide for human well-being. This report is the result of an introductory and scoping study, laying the foundation for a Nordic Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services based on IPBES methods and procedures.



Background and introduction

The Anthropocene (a term commonly used to define the massive, global impact of humans on the planet’s biophysical processes affecting, for example, the climate and ecosystems) has generated global environmental changes with potential thresholds and tipping points, currently challenging future well-being of the human population on Earth (Rockström et al., 2009). The Planetary Boundaries framework identifies a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. However, crossing these boundaries could generate abrupt and irreversible environmental changes (Rockström et al., 2009). Four of the boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change and altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen) (W. Steffen et al., 2015). Oxfam has taken the planetary boundary idea and added social boundaries, and argued that just as the planet provides biophysical limits, the world has critical social foundations below which people should not live, based on human rights, poverty alleviation and equity aspects (Raworth, 2012).


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