UM hosts IPBES technical support unit

The University of Montpellier has been chosen to host the technical support unit of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). This choice places Montpellier at the heart of global biodiversity issues.

In July 2021, the Executive Secretariat of IPBES - the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services - issued a call for proposals to host a "Technical Support Unit" to support the drafting of a global report by 2024, assessing the causes of biodiversity loss, the drivers of transformations and options for achieving commitments by 2050. The University of Montpellier's proposal was selected.

Placed under the aegis of the United Nations, IPBES is an intergovernmental group of experts on biodiversity whose main mission is to assist governments on biodiversity issues. The work of the IPBES is therefore of the same importance for biodiversity as that of the IPCC for climate change.

"The University of Montpellier is delighted to have been chosen to host the IPBES Technical Support Unit and thus be able to welcome some of the researchers contributing to the report to Montpellier. With over 1,300 scientists working directly on topics related to ecology and biodiversity, Montpellier is home to one of the world's largest communities in this field, recognized at the highest level by the Shanghai ranking, and this community has already been a major contributor to IPBES activities. This choice by IPBES honours us and places Montpellier at the heart of one of the key issues for the future of the Planet", according to Philippe Augé, President of the University.

The University of Montpellier's proposal has been developed with substantial support from the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, which is making a financial contribution. The proposal was drawn up by the University of Montpellier on behalf of the MUSE consortium, which it leads, with support from the CGIAR, operational reinforcement fromAgropolis International, and of course the work of the administrative departments and vice-presidents of the University concerned.

The IPBES initiative and the forthcoming report are in perfect harmony with the orientations that the University of Montpellier is deploying as part of its MUSE I-SITE project, with 15 partner institutions present in Montpellier. Together, and in partnership with international institutions, these establishments are committed to strengthening research, education and international cooperation to meet three interlocking challenges: (i) fostering a transition to an environmentally-friendly society; (ii) promoting innovative agriculture to contribute to food security and environmental quality; (iii) improving human health in changing environments. Involvement in this new initiative will contribute to this.