IPBES Nature Futures Workshop

NIWA hosted an IPBES workshop entitled “Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century” held from 4-8 September 2017 in Auckland.

What is IPBES?

IPBES—the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services—was established in 2012 to serve a role linking the science and knowledge about nature and nature’s benefits to people with policy and decision-making. IPBES has many expert groups, including one that focusses on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity of Ecosystem Services. NIWA scientists and other New Zealand experts have participated in this and other expert groups, and have contributed to the international assessments resulting from the IPBES work programme.

Find out more about IPBES.

Scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services

One of the first IPBES assessments, approved and released in 2016, was a review entitled “Policy support tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. This assessment addressed the development and interpretation of scenarios and models to perform assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and for incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem services into policy and decision-making. Phase two of the IPBES Scenarios and Models Expert Group was initiated in October 2016, and is led by Co-Chairs Dr Carolyn Lundquist (NIWA and University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Prof Henrique Pereira (iDiv, Germany).

The 2017 Nature Futures workshop in New Zealand

One of the key initiatives of the IPBES Scenarios and Models expert group is to develop multiscale scenarios for biodiversity, similar to the scenario framework used in climate change assessments (i.e., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC). These scenarios will provide a standard approach to assessing changes in nature’s contributions to people over time, and to facilitate coordination between nations and regions in reversing declines in nature and nature’s contributions to people. The first workshop to support the development of these multiscale biodiversity scenarios was held in Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2017. At this workshop, a group of stakeholders (including scientists, governments, industry, local communities, indigenous peoples, and biodiversity organisations) developed the first iteration of biodiversity scenarios. These IPBES scenarios will inform global and regional IPBES assessments that synthesise information on the state of the planet’s biodiversity, its ecosystems, and the essential services they provide to society and to support policy formulation to prevent further declines.

A summary of the workshop can be seen and downloaded:


The full report of the workshop can be see and downloaded:

Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century [PDF 12.4MB]


Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology