The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has recently released its first set of regional assessments, including the Regional Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia. Comprising six chapters, the assessment summarizes the available knowledge on the status and trends of nature and its contributions to people in Europe and Central Asia, as well as direct and direct drivers affecting them and options for decision-making. Chapter 2 of the assessment focuses specifically on nature’s contributions to people (NCP) and their relationships with values and good quality of life, thus covering two elements of the conceptual framework of IPBES. Nature’s contributions to people are defined in the assessment as “all the contributions of nature, both positive and negative, to the quality of life of humans as individuals and societies” and include regulating, material and non-material NCP, with a total of 18 NCP. Chapter 2 strives to represent the multiple values of nature’s contributions to people and is based on an assessment of both existing scientific body of knowledge and indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) linked to nature and its contributions to people.
In this talk we will provide some key findings of Chapter 2, as well as some insights into how the Chapter was developed and has evolved over time. One of the key conclusions related to the trends in NCP in Europe and Central Asia is that declining trends have been observed in the majority of regulating NCP and some non-material NCP. The increasing trends observed in the delivery of some material NCP have come at the expense of this decline in nature’s capacity to provide some regulating NCP. Non-material NCP show contrasting trends. Declining trends have been established for some, particularly learning derived from indigenous and local knowledge.
Following an assessment of status and trends of regulating, material and non-material NCP in Europe and Central Asia, the Chapter discusses their relation with food and water security, linkages between nature and health and cultural heritage, identity and stewardship. It also discusses integrated valuation approaches that demonstrate that NCP have multiple values, including both monetary and non-monetary values.