Copyright © 2021, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most pressing issues of the Anthropocene. While there is recognition in both scientific and policy-making circles that the two are interconnected, in practice they are largely addressed in their own
domains. The research community dedicated to investigating the climate system is somewhat, but not completely, distinct from that which studies biodiversity. Each issue has its own international Convention (the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity), and each has an intergovernmental body which assesses available knowledge (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)). This functional separation creates a risk of incompletely identifying, understanding and dealing with the connections between the two. In the worst case it may lead to taking actions that inadvertently prevent the solution of one or the other, or both issues. It is the nature of complex systems that they have unexpected outcomes and thresholds, but also that the individual parts cannot be managed in isolation from one another. The joint IPBES-IPCC workshop set out
to explore these complex and multiple connections between climate and biodiversity. This workshop and its report represent the first ever joint collaboration between the two intergovernmental bodies and therefore a landmark activity in both of their histories.