IPBES needs to learn …. from biodiversity

When my human medium left the IPBES-5 late Thursday evening, flying back home, she was mumbling something again about this thing called money and that there is not enough of it for your IPBES animal. Following the squaks on twitter later on Friday it indeed became apparent that this thing called budget once again hinders that relevant endeavour to start flying. (And flying is difficult, I can tell you from own experience)

I guess I have mentioned several times that the human focus on small coloured pieces of mashed, dried tree pulp appear strange to a dodo, especially when you could invest it in reasonable things like IPBES. But as of now, it seems you don’t even seem to know some biodiversity and natural resource management basics. So let me help you: As a dodo population living on a small island, we had to live according to our local resources: we could only eat what was there, whether calvaria fruits (delicious, but don’t believe your early scientists about our relation with this tree – wrong, wrong wrong) or anything else. More dodos would have meant: more calvaria trees etc… As said: Basics!

Soooo: living and thriving beyond your resources is pretty hard, not to say unlikely. Translated back: putting too many dodos (assessments, task forces, deliverables…) on a too small island (your “budget”) is simple as unsustainable as all those unsustainable uses that you maybe will never address in the now scoped assessment on “Sustainable use of wild species”.

btw: I would also propose an additional study on the UNsustainable use of wild species – finally the dodo would be subject to IPBES, jointly with my friends up here in extinction heaven, the great auk, the passenger pidgeon, the moas, …- quite some insights to get from this as well – happy to be nominated as CLD for this  – Coordinating Lead Dodo.

IPBES wanted everything with its huge work programme, to please everyone, to feed everyone in its membership population and its baby deliverables. And many of those members just prefer to consume and don’t bring own calvaria trees in the deal. As in biology, this may work for a while (especially when a huge trunk of calvarias has been provided once, see IPBES/5/10, table 1, sixteenth row, third column – I think this were the elks?). You may grow and start flying (“oooh, we have a great first assessment and some nice new communication tools now, we even have flags…”), but shortly afterwards, the calvarias are eaten up, and maybe even the trees chopped (or giving the calvarias somewhere else…).And soon nothing left to nurture your babies called deliverables. Standard population biology.

On the other hand: thousands of motivated volunteers that provide calvaria substitutes for free… impressive, but you need some calvarias nonetheless to organise them… What do you do? Lessons from dodo biology:

  1. Don’t grow too fast (less deliverables, but relevant ones – see my opening address)
  2. Think carefully about where to put your calvarias (flags? Too many delegates paid? Which task forces?)
  3. Not only use but also value and acknowledge your volunteers – not only “as appropriate”
  4. Make an honest plan (you are so good in this if you want, but unfortunately you are also good in making them based on depth…) based on the lessons above
  5. Be aware of storms, consider some resilience….

For now, IPBES is back on the ground, like a flightless bird – belief me, I know this feeling, but it’s not as bad as it feels in first place. Living on solid ground has its advantages.

Yours, Dodopanic

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