France and Japan propose an ‘IPCC for nature’

Delegates from 97 countries meet in South Korea to hear plans for an international body to monitor destruction of flora and fauna.

World governments are meeting this week to try to set up a new international body that would put the global destruction of the natural world on an equal footing with the threat of climate change.

The proposed new organisation would be modelled on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), which was set up 22 years ago. Since then, it has launched global warming and climate change to the top of the political and economic agenda.

The meeting, at Busan in South Korea, follows growing evidence in the last few years about the huge rate of destruction of species and the ecosystem services they provide for humans – from regulating local weather and fertilising soil to providing a rich gene pool for medical researchers.

Another major report this summer, commissioned by the United Nations, is expected to say that the economic benefits of policies to protect and restore biodiversity are worth 10 to 100 times the costs

“If the true value of ecosystem services – economic, social and spiritual – were factored into decision-making, wetlands, forests and reefs would be viewed and treated very differently,” said French ecology secretary, Chantal Jouanno, and campaigner Janet Ranganathan in an article for the Guardian.

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