Your new science-policy animal IPBES – some dodo reflections

As it happens, my dear human medium keeps on visiting large scale assemblages of humans talking about biodiversity.

You latest global invention in this respect is IPBES (which’s complete name already tells you how crazy humans are with naming things…).

I had the honour to co-visit its last big meeting, called IPBES-3 in Bonn (that’s what I call a short, cozy name…) early this year.

As a virtual animal, of course I wasn’t allowed to speak during the plenary (although I would be the perfect stakeholder, even if dodos can hold hardly anything…), so I had to deliver my final speech to the plenary in tweets… Which of course no one recognized by then as everyone was going home and making appointments for their next babble-exchange encounter (probably something from CBD… or maybe the World Parcs Congress?). And, well, I had to leave myself… So, here, I would like to document my closing speech, as somehow it didn’t make it into the final report of the meeting… strange… should at least try to register myself as official virtual observer…

Distinguished stakeholders, fellow non-extinct birds, dear front rows.

Thank you for an interesting and funny week at #ipbes3. I sincerely hope that your IPBES plans will help to make Earth a better place for humans and Mother Earth… and its birds and other fellow species. Whatever the outcomes of the planned IPBES assessments will be: take them serious, as the real situation is likely to be worse. 

No IPBES birds assessment is planned, yet the world is getting poorer and poorer. Of birds, fellow animals, plants, ecosystems. Many animals suffer, and so do humans. All of you loose the basis for a safe, valuable, life. I lost mine long ago due to early human ignorance [today, you would probably spend millions to save me, if only a few of my species were left, see my dear friend Sirocco, the  @spokesbird of the kakapos]. It would be pretty nice to stop that ignorance now that you know better with the help of the wit and wisdom humans indeed have, maybe…

Let me conclude #ipbes3 with a quote of one of these human authors fascinated by us dodos, the late Douglas Adams. “Humans are not an endangered species themselves yet, but it’s not for a lack of trying.” Thank you, #ipbes3. Squak!

Yeah, well, although I didn’t give the speech, I admit I stayed with the formalism of such events of being resonably kind and concise. But now that they started some of their “asssessments”, I can maybe reflect a little more. Generally it is great that your decision takers (or makers? not sure) want to listen more closely to what you know about your natural environment and how you so un-elegantly destroy it. You even made it to create a framework that connects humans and nature for this in just a few pages, where in fact the real reason for the destruction, your decisions and institutions, are at its core.  Well done, took some time if you remember the framework of your Millennium Assessment. Calling it a “rosetta stone” though, is something quite overbearing, as you are still far away from understanding nature in its entity… Nonetheless, some of you seem to understand better now…

The question that bothers me is how these surely clever findings that IPBES will deliver will actually make it to the real decision takers. IPBES doesn’t even have money to properly make its results known, the money spent by your rich countries on helping nature to be better off is still poor, yet you call it a vital foundation for your development. The 2-day meeting of seven humans (“G7”) where this was presented in fact cost more than  the work programme of IPBES for four years… Well, you don’t even manage to spend your money wisely for your own purposes and respect the individuals of your own species, I just remember… So what should I say…

I might just go back to my extinction heaven repository and have a call to Douglas in your very own heaven about this (they are separated for our own sake…).