21 December 2010 – A new international body aimed at reversing the unprecedented loss of species and ecosystems vital to life on Earth due to human activity has passed its final hurdle with approval by the United Nations General Assembly.

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the Assembly yesterday called on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to take the necessary steps to set up the Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the final approval needed for the body for which the groundwork had been laid at UNEP-sponsored meetings earlier this year.

“IPBES represents a major breakthrough in terms of organizing a global response to the loss of living organisms and forests, freshwaters, coral reefs and other ecosystems that underpin all life, including economic life, on Earth,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said today.

 

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