The Norwegian Veterinary Institute contributes to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will arrange between 27-31st July, a workshop on biodiversity and pandemics in light of the recent and ongoing corona outbreak. Carlos das Neves from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute has been appointed as a participant and contributor to the workshop and the subsequent report. IPBES is the intergovernmental body, which assesses the state of biodiversity, and of the ecosystem services it provides to society, in response to requests from decision makers.

“We are very pleased that the IPBES has invited Norwegian participation on such a topical topic. It is also recognition of the Norwegian competence within this field. IPBES aims to strengthen the interaction between research and management/policy making and help prevent biodiversity loss and deterioration of ecosystem services, and serves a similar role as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” says Director-General Gaute Lenvik of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

IPBES provides advice to organizations such as the UN, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), and other UN agencies and member states. Norway is represented in IPBES by the Norwegian Environment Agency.

“The Nowegian research community is at a high international level and is academically relevant. We have shown this repeatedly. The fact that Norway contributes to the IPBES is a great recognition of our expertise. I am pleased that Norway, through the Veterinary Institute, contributes with expert knowledge on wildlife health and communicable diseases”, says the Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad.

Considering the extraordinary situation caused by Covid-19, IPBES Multidisciplinary expert panel asked the 137 countries to propose names for a selection of 15 experts for the "IPBES workshop on biodiversity and pandemics." Carlos das Neves, director for research and internationalization at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, is one of the selected panelists with expertise related to wildlife and infectious diseases.

“I am both happy and grateful for this opportunity to discuss such a relevant topic with colleagues from all over the world. This topic touches on all of us, and is also central to the issues we are working on at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute,” says Carlos das Neves, continuing:

“In a rapidly changing world, we need to focus on the balance between animals, humans, diseases, infections and the environment. I hope this work and the report thereafter will help politicians and management authorities to find good solutions to the great global challenges we now face”.

The panel will consider research that addresses the origins of infectious diseases transmitted from wild animals, the relationship between pandemics and biodiversity – especially the drivers of pandemics and action options related to biodiversity and ecosystem services, set against the current situation and prevention of future outbreaks.

The workshop takes place between 27-31st July. A subsequent report will be available in September 2020. Read more about IPBES and the workshop here.

This news is also available in Norwegian at the website of the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

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