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Mas­ter stu­dents of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "Global Change Ecol­ogy" at the Uni­versi­ty of Bay­reuth par­tici­pated in this year's ninth annu­al Plena­ry meet­ing of the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Sci­en­ce-Poli­cy Plat­form on Bio­diver­sity and Eco­sys­tem Ser­vices (IP­BES). They repre­sented the Elite Net­work of Ba­varia and the Uni­versi­ty of Bay­reuth dur­ing the week-long IP­BES meet­ing and par­tici­pated in dis­cussions - as well as other repre­senta­tives from 139 mem­ber states - on nu­mer­ous top­ics.

Topics Covered and Outcome

IP­BES was estab­lished to im­prove the inter­face be­tween sci­ence and policy on issues of biodi­versi­ty and eco­sys­tem ser­vices. It pro­duces im­portant find­ings for deci­sion mak­ing and stake­hold­ers in the field of biodi­versi­ty.
Dur­ing this year’s ninth ses­sion, which took place from 3 to 9 July in Bonn, the plat­form planned to ap­prove two new re­ports high­light­ing the di­verse uses and values of wild­life to hu­mans and non-humans. The result of IP­BES 9 was the pub­lish­ing of two land­mark re­ports, the “As­sess­ment report on the sus­taina­ble use of wild spe­cies” and the “Methodo­logi­cal as­sess­ment re­garding the di­verse con­cep­tual­iza­tion of mul­tiple values of nature and its bene­fits”. With thou­sands of refer­ences and doz­ens of con­trib­uting au­thors, these re­ports pre­sent im­portant sci­en­tific and polit­ical con­sen­sus.
Addi­tion­ally, the scop­ing report for the as­sess­ment on busi­ness and biodi­versi­ty was ap­proved. With these vari­ous ap­prov­als, the IP­BES secre­tariat may con­tinue on its path to­wards publi­cati­on.

Back Office Volunteering

20 stu­dents of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "Global Change Ecol­ogy" at the Uni­versi­ty of Bay­reuth vol­un­teered to work alongside the IP­BES secre­tariat at this year's ninth ses­sion. Dur­ing that time, these stu­dents con­tributed to the suc­cess of the event and as­sisted the secre­tariat with vari­ous tasks such as: regis­tra­tion, oper­ating the help desk, man­aging the vari­ous social media and IT out­lets, or­gani­zation and man­age­ment of vari­ous areas of re­spon­sibil­ity. When asked about their expe­rienc­es, not only vol­un­teer­ing but also ob­serv­ing the lively event, all par­tici­pants pro­vided posi­tive feed­back and would take over these re­spon­sibili­ties again.

Text: Alex Nadolny & Zachary Zeller, Master students in the Elite Graduate Program “Global Change Ecology”