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Knowledge and data

Our work

Recognising the importance of raising awareness on IPBES-identified knowledge gaps and of accessing and managing data to the implementation of the platform work programme, IPBES established a task force on knowledge and data and agreed on terms of reference guiding its operations implementing this deliverable. Activities have been grouped under two main components: data management and new knowledge generation, for which most of the work is respectively supported by the Senckenberg Nature Research Society (www.senckenberg.de) and by BiodivERsA (www.biodiversa.org) - the two co-hosts of the technical support unit on knowledge and data. 

Key activities and deliverables include:

  • Development and dissemination of materials (process, guidelines and template) for supporting assessment authors in the identification of knowledge gaps, in each assessment;
  • Facilitation of dialogues between experts of IPBES assessments and relevant external organizations and institutions, primarily programmers and funders involved in new knowledge generation;
  • Development and implementation of a monitoring plan, including key performance indicators on the uptake of gaps by external organizations and on how this contributes to filling these gaps;
  • Review and further development of the IPBES data management policy, and support and monitoring of its implementation in all objectives of the platform;
  • Activities to support the generation, management, handling and delivery of IPBES products in aspects relating to the data management policy;
  • Exploration and establishment of collaborations with external initiatives and providers on data.

Mandate

The terms of reference for the task force on knowledge and data in the IPBES work programme up to 2030 (set out in Annex II to decision IPBES-7/1 in May 2019) are as follows:

Responsibilities 

The task force on knowledge and data  oversees and takes part in the implementation of objective 3 (a) of the rolling work programme up to 2030, “Advanced work on knowledge and data”, and acts in accordance with relevant decisions by the Plenary and its subsidiary bodies, including by building on lessons learned in the implementation of deliverable 1 (d) of the first work programme and by: 

  • Supporting assessment experts in identifying, prioritizing and mobilizing existing knowledge and data needed for IPBES assessments;
  • Guiding the secretariat, including the dedicated technical support unit, in the management of the data, information and knowledge used in IPBES products, including the development of the web-based infrastructure, to ensure their long-term availability and data interoperability;
  • Supporting the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel in reviewing the knowledge needs and gaps identified through IPBES assessments and other IPBES deliverables and in catalysing the generation of new knowledge and data.

Membership 

The task force is composed of 15 members covering the five United Nations regions, including: (a) 4 members of the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel; (b) members of expert groups for ongoing IPBES assessments and of other relevant task forces; (c) representatives of qualified national, regional and international scientific organizations, centres of excellence and institutions, including experts on indigenous and local knowledge, known for their work and expertise on issues related to the mandate of the task force; and (d) recognized individual experts on matters related to the mandate of the task force, including experts from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities and indigenous and local knowledge experts. 

Members other than those from the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel were selected according to the procedures for the preparation of IPBES deliverables. The term of office of these members will expire at the end of the third session following their selection, with the possibility of re-election. The selection of members should reflect the need for continuity in the work of the task force. 

At the discretion of the co-chairs of the task force and following consultation with the Bureau, a limited number of individual experts on knowledge and data management are invited to participate in the task force as resource persons.

Modus operandi

The task force is co-chaired by members of the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel. The task force works through face-to-face meetings, web-based meetings and other electronic interactions. Products of the task force are reviewed by the Bureau and the Panel and forwarded to the Plenary for its information and consideration, as appropriate. The task force will foster collaboration with strategic partners and collaborative supporters under the guidance of the Bureau.

The task force is supported by the secretariat, including a dedicated technical support unit.