National Focal Point:
Inka Gnittke, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Dr. Janina Heim, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
German IPBES Coordination Office
Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster (coordinator)
Sapna Sidiqi (secretariat)
+45 7254 2252
+45 9350 9570 or +45 3533 0179
HOW IS GERMANY ORGANISED TO GET ENGAGED IN IPBES
The German IPBES Coordination Office was established in April 2014 by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), which acts as the National Focal Point, together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The German IPBES Coordination Office is located in the German Aerospace Center, Project Management Agency in Bonn. The national Coordination Office supports the work of the ministries associated with the national implementation of the IPBES work programme. In this context, the national Coordination Office supports the integration of national expertise into the IPBES work process. It also improves the information base for deliberations and national decision-making processes related to IPBES activities.
The German IPBES Coordination Office assists in the development of innovative research and environmental policy opportunities that will enable visible and important contributions from Germany to safeguard and sustainably use biodiversity at national, regional and global scales.
The IPBES calls for experts are analysed and spread by the German IPBES Coordination Office through its extensive and continuously growing national mailing list. The IPBES calls for experts are also published on the website of the national Coordination Office.
In agreement with the ministries, the nation Coordination Office develops and implements a timetable for the national nomination process of experts by the Government in response to the international call for experts, thereby taking into account the deadlines set at the international level.
The current structure of IPBES calls for experts rules out self-nomination. The nomination calls request experts to submit a reference from a Government or from an Organisation. Therefore, the national nomination process foresees the following steps:
- The National IPBES Coordination Office circulates the IPBES application form and invites German nationals, experts affiliated to German institutions or experts who are working in biodiversity-related initiatives funded by Germany, and who wish to be nominated by the Government to return the completed international application form together with the necessary curriculum vitae within a specified time to the national Coordination Office. In this phase, the national IPBES Coordination Office advises experts on procedural matters.
- The national IPBES Coordination Office also invites other national research networks and institutions involved in the IPBES process to circulate the national timetable for the nomination process via their mailing lists to attract the wider scientific audience to the international IPBES call for experts.
- The national IPBES Coordination Office, in collaboration with the BMUB and the BMBF, convenes a meeting of an independent National IPBES Advisory Committee, whose members are representatives of national research organisations, national biodiversity research-related fora, committees, networks and also representatives of networks of non-governmental organizations.
- The independent National IPBES Advisory Committee analyses the qualifications and the competences of the experts, who wish to be nominated by the German Government.
- The German Government adopts the list of recommendations provided by the National IPBES Advisory Committee and requests the German IPBES Coordination Office to inform the national experts, who have received a recommendation, to register online at the IPBES website, thereby indicating that Germany will be providing a reference to confirm the nomination.
- The German IPBES Coordination Office provides references to the National Focal Point at BMUB for submission to the IPBES Secretariat to confirm the nomination of the experts.
- Based on a small budget that is managed by the German IPBES Coordination Office, Germany provides financial support according to the following procedure:
Experts nominated by Germany and selected by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) are eligible to receive financial support for travel and accommodation if they fulfil the following criteria:
- They have received an official invitation letter from the IPBES to attend an IPBES expert meeting.
- They are not affiliated to a national large-scale research centre or association.
- They can provide evidence that they could not find other funding source/s.
The national IPBES Coordination Office, BMUB and BMBF jointly analyse the situation of an expert and agree on the support mechanism (full or partial coverage of the travel/accommodation costs).
CONTRIBUTION TO THE IPBES WORK PROGRAMME (TYPE OF ACTIVITIES)
All calls published by IPBES (experts, review processes) are advertised through the website of the German IPBES Coordination Office, and are also circulated via its mailing list and through national networks.
The German IPBES Coordination Office also commissions expert surveys on IPBES-related issues, such as exploring regional capacity building needs in order to identify ways to enhance the participation of different regions in the process of implementing the IPBES Work Programme.
Upon request, the German IPBES Coordination Office also provides technical support to the IPBES Secretariat in Bonn.
The German IPBES Coordination Office supports the work of the ministries associated with the implementation of the IPBES activities through:
- Coordination of the national nomination processes in response to the international IPBES calls for experts.
- Provision of administrative and technical support to the experts nominated by the Government and selected by IPBES.
- Advertising other calls published by IPBES (e.g. call for reviews) via its website and mailing list.
- Analyses of IPBES documents.
- Support in preparation of national positions for international negotiations, e.g. by convening national fora prior to the IPBES Plenaries.
- Scientific advice to the ministries, identification of additional needs for research (also with external expertise), and identification of capacity building needs.
- Continuously inform the national scientific community about IPBES activities.
- Organisation and coordination of national IPBES expert meetings.
- Public relations and media work.
- Provision of logistic support to the international IPBES Secretariat in Bonn (upon request).
The German IPBES Coordination Office also regularly meets the National Focal Point at BMUB and the senior officer in charge of IPBES in BMBF to discuss progresses in IPBES activities, and to identify and decide on the next steps on IPBES-related activities at the national level.
The German IPBES Coordination Office is currently identifying pathways on how to strengthen social sciences in its IPBES activities. A national workshop on this topic is being organized by the national IPBES Coordination Office and will be held on 12th November 2015.
Some of the results were published in Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, Volume 31, 2018 - Issue sup1.
In summer 2014, the German IPBES Coordination Office commissioned a study titled “Shaping capacity-building for stakeholder engagement with IPBES according to most urging capacity-building needs, identified with experts from Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. (Paulsch, A., Heubach, K & Paulsch, C. (eds.) 2015). This regional study reveals the capacity-building needs identified by experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Hungary, Moldova, Russian Federation, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine in Central Asia to improve the participation of this region in the ongoing IPBES activities. The study is downloadable at http://biodiv.de/en/projects/current/ipbes-ost.html
TYPE OF ENGAGEMENT WITH STAKEHOLDERS
The German IPBES Coordination Office engages with various stakeholders. Each year, the national Coordination Office organizes a national IPBES forum prior to an IPBES plenary. The participants attending the forum are scientists, decision-makers, ministerial representatives, and members of NGOs or development and research funding agencies. This national multi-stakeholder community jointly analyses and discusses the IPBES working and information documents, which will be on the agenda of the up-coming international negotiations. Beyond the preparation of an IPBES plenary, the national fora organised by the German IPBES Coordination Office also provide a unique opportunity for experts interested in the IPBES process to meet up with experts, who are already involved in IPBES expert groups and task forces.
The German IPBES Coordination Office invites you to complete its online registration form at https://www.de-ipbes.de/de/Newsletter-1709.html in order to be included in its mailing list.