On Thursday, July 7, the Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approved the Thematic Assessment of the Sustainable Use of Wild Species, which underscores the fundamental link between people and nature and reaffirms that people are dependent on nature.
The assessment makes clear that billions of people in all regions of the world rely on and benefit from the use of wild species for food, medicine, energy, income, and many other purposes; that the sustainable use of wild species is central to the identity and existence of many indigenous peoples and local communities; and, that ensuring sustainability of the use of wild species is critical to reversing the global trend in biodiversity decline.
Just as the 2019 IPBES Report on the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services set out the grim reality that a million species are at risk of extinction due to unsustainable human activities, the IPBES Thematic Assessment on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species will be important to advancing our efforts to conserve at least 30 percent of land and water and 30 percent of the global ocean. The IPBES assessment spotlights the importance of recognizing, respecting, and incorporating indigenous and local knowledge and knowledge systems into policy decisions.
The United States was instrumental in establishing IPBES in 2012 and remains a strong supporter of IPBES today. We are celebrating IPBES’ 10-year anniversary by reaffirming our commitment to advancing science and the role of science in decision-making. The United States has also worked in IPBES to advance the inclusion of indigenous peoples and local communities and incorporation, with their consent, of indigenous and local knowledge into the IPBES assessments.