IPBES opens our eyes to the threat against biodiversity – wins the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2020
One of the world’s leading sustainability awards is aiming the spotlight at one of our future’s most critical issues – the threat against biodiversity. Today, on the International Day of Biodiversity, it is announced that the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is this year’s winner of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award and the prize of 1 000 000 SEK. Amongst other endeavours, IPBES published the report that confirms that around one million of Earth’s estimated eight million species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.
In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, two of the goals specifically targets ecosystems and biodiversity – on land and in water. But the truth is, biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are essential for us to succeed in all of the 17 goals. To ensure our future food production, access to fresh water, saving the climate, and in order to control diseases the issue requires far more attention on the political agenda. Because even though it is crucial for all life on Earth, the threat against biodiversity is today greater than ever.
As the world’s first and only intergovernmental platform for biodiversity, IPBES is providing knowledge as well as tools to protect, and sustainably access nature’s vital resources. The organisation brings people of knowledge and experience together with stakeholders and decision makers from all regions of the world, and together they are laying the groundwork for a new agenda. For its assiduous and scientifically credible work, IPBES is now rewarded with the world-leading sustainability award, WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award, including the prize of one million SEK.
– IPBES has managed to summarize and explain the importance of biodiversity and the meaning of the threat against it in a way that few others have. Thanks to their work, this issue is now finally in focus and that’s why it feels great to be able to present them as this year’s winner, says Emma Dalväg, Chairperson of the jury.
In IPBES’ report ”Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” from 2019, hundreds of scientists contributed in order to give the world an accurate update on nature’s status and its link to people. According to the WIN WIN Award jury, this report made information about biodiversity and ecosystems accessible to more than just experts and scientists.
– IPBES’ most recent report from 2019 outlines very clearly that the state is critical for biodiversity and the only sustainable future scenario is a transformative system change. One eighth of the world’s estimated species of plants and animals could go extinct within a few decades. We can no longer close our eyes to reality! Emma Dalväg says.
Representatives of IPBES will accept the award, on behalf of the entire IPBES community, at the Award ceremony, which will take place in Gothenburg on the 22nd of October. IPBES Executive Secretary Dr. Anne Larigauderie points out that it is very significant that the award has been made in 2020 – the point at which decisions are being taken about the framework for global action on nature for the next decade.
– The IPBES secretariat receives this award on behalf of our 136 member States and dedicates it to the thousands of scientists, knowledge-holders and stakeholders who have already contributed so much of their time and expertise to our work. This success is their success. The 2020 WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award is further proof that scientific expertise and better evidence must be at the heart of the decisions we take today about our shared future, says Dr. Anne Larigauderie.
In addition, the world leading scientist within biodiversity and ecosystems, Dr. Sandra Díaz, is invited to the award ceremony. She is one of three co-chairs of the Global Assessment report from 2019.
The jury explains selecting IPBES for this year’s award as follows:
”The biodiversity on Earth is crucial to human survival and the need to raise the issue on the agenda for the world's decision makers to a corresponding level is therefore great and urgent. The work to disseminate knowledge and awareness of the importance of biodiversity is therefore of crucial importance.
IPBES has had a decisive role in outlining the drivers of biodiversity loss, communicating the magnitude of the problem and laying the groundwork for a new agenda and transformative change in relation to biodiversity. Through their methodology, which includes research in both natural and social science as well as including the importance of indigenous peoples' knowledge and experience, they have increased the opportunities for evidence-based decision making by policymakers.
Since its inception in 2012, by engaging and uniting the world's nations around the issue of biodiversity, IPBES has played a crucial role in setting the groundwork for the change we need to address this crisis in the near future.”
WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award
The world’s leading sustainability award aims to recognize and support outstanding contributions from around the world. Our goal is to stimulate creativity and achieve lasting synergies as we strive to strike the right balance between ecological, environmental and social needs. The award has been presented in Gothenburg since 2000.