Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

Can IPBES move from a science platform to a diverse knowledge platform?

18 February, 2013

A small delegation of indigenous peoples and local communities attended the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), held last month in Bonn, Germany. The delegation drew attention to the value and importance of indigenous and local knowledge and the need for a true partnership between diverse knowledge holders (who are just as ‘expert’ on biodiversity issues as scientists) and the IPBES.

IPBES, established in Panama City in April 2012, is intended to serve as an independent intergovernmental body for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Indigenous peoples and local communities have been involved from the beginning. In Bonn, governments and stakeholders discussed an initial work plan for IPBES and its rules and procedures, including participation by non-governmental organisations

Indigenous peoples and local communities stress that IPBES can only be successful if it becomes a truly diverse knowledge platform, transcending sciences and embracing multiple expertise and knowledge holders on an equal basis. Furthermore, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders must be enabled to fully and effectively participate in the process. To read the full opening statement by indigenous peoples and local communities to the IPBES click here

To read the closing statement by indigenous peoples and local communities to the IPBES, click here

For more information on the IPBES please visit:

For more information about connecting diverse knowledge systems, see: