The scope and functioning of the Non-Aligned Movement is not confined to merely international affairs. The Movement has expressed its concerns at the environmental issues and as such, NAM Member States have played an important role on negotiations and implementation of various plans of action of major environmental issues such as those pertaining to climate change and protection of biodiversity.
The Movement has stressed on the need to protect the biological diversity of the planet and stressed that earth is a planet with limited resources and intense human activities, in particular, unsustainable patterns of production and consumption especially in developed countries, are affecting the functioning of Earth’s systems. In this regard, NAM Member States have expressed that the land, forests, rivers, wetlands, sea, biodiversity, atmosphere, glaciers and other components are vital parts of those systems that need to be preserved, and regenerated to maintain the balance of life.
In this context, NAM has appreciated the efforts of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is an independent intergovernmental body, established by Member States in 2012. It provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets. This concern is reflected in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, together with other key aspirations of society, many of which are also causing the human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Efforts to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity involve balancing the interests of different sectors, and this could benefit from an effective science policy.
IPBES has four major objectives: Strengthen the capacity and knowledge foundations of the science-policy interface to implement key functions of the Platform; Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services at and across sub regional, regional and global levels; Strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services with regard to thematic and methodological issues: and reviews of the effectiveness of guidance, procedures, methods and approaches to inform future development of the IPBES Platform. The UNDP views IPBES as critically important to support implementation of the new Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and to promote global sustainable development. According to UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, “We know that healthy ecosystems provide invaluable services that underpin development, particularly for the billions of people worldwide who depend directly on biodiversity for their livelihoods. We believe that IPBES can help ensure that developing countries and communities have access to sound scientific information to inform development policies, protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services in a way that addresses poverty alleviation and promotes growth with equity”.
NAM Member States have been actively engaging in the work of the IPBES. It may be mentioned here that the UNDP managed Bio-diversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) and the UNEP-WCMC hosted Sub-Global Assessment Network (SGA Network) projects are aimed at providing technical and capacity building support to specific countries to conduct national assessments of scientific evidence on policy issues. SGA Network capacity building workshop was held from 24 to 28th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The city of Dehradun in India hosted the First IPBES Capacity Building Forum, from 19-22 October 2015.NAM has welcomed adoption of the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for 2014-2018, and encourage further participation of all member states, in particular representatives of developing countries, in contributing to the scoping process for the global and regional commitments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.