About Policy Support
Work in progress: This web portal is a prototype intended to present the overall planned structure and functionality of the Policy Support portal. The portal is still under development. Any feedback is welcome and will help to further develop this resource so it meets the needs of decision makers, practitioners, and experts supporting policy formulation and implementation.
What is the Policy Support Portal?
The Policy Support Portal is a toolkit of approaches, techniques, and good practices, that enables access to:
- The Catalogue of policy support tools and methodologies, containing policy support tools and policy instruments linked to assessments, case studies, learning opportunities, and communities of practice.
- The Methodological guidance developed by IPBES, currently including guidance on using scenarios and models, and on the diverse conceptualisation of values. Links to relevant policy support tools and instruments are included.
Why was it developed?
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has a mandate to support policy formulation and implementation for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems. This web portal provides access to the resources needed to support this mandate. Institutions and governance have a central role influencing all aspects of the human relationships with nature. In the pursuit of better informed and evidence-based policies, this is reflected in IPBES conceptual framework.
The use of the Portal could provide the opportunity for a wide spectrum of individuals and institutions to gain access to what is being done around the world in their area of interest, to allow them to access known resources while inspiring them for the use of new tools and approaches. These innovative resources may assist and inform decision makers and help develop policies that better address the direct and indirect drivers effecting biodiversity in a specific context.
Who developed it?
The Portal was developed by IPBES with the support of a wide range of experts, and resource people across the globe. This web portal has been developed together with Oppla which is supported by the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development, and demonstration.
Who was it developed for?
The Portal’s main users are expected to be the member and observer countries of the IPBES, and their national, regional and local authorities.
Other main target groups include:
- IPBES (Plenary, Bureau, Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, secretariat, task forces and expert groups).
- Strategic Institutional partners of IPBES e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations system.
- Knowledge holders on policy-support tools and methodologies - Expert groups under IPBES, universities, scientists and scientific organizations, indigenous and local knowledge-holders.
- Inter-scientific dialogue with non-governmental organizations, conservation and development practitioners, indigenous and local communities, youth groups, businesses, local authorities, media etc.
Why would I use it?
You will find the Portal useful if you are looking for objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets.
IPBES has harnessed the best expertise from across all scientific disciplines and knowledge communities to give you access to relevant assessments, tools, instruments, case studies, training and communities of practice.
What is the catalogue of policy support tools and methodologies?
The Catalogue of policy support tools and methodologies, included within the Policy Support Portal, contains policy support tools and policy instruments linked to assessments, case studies, learning opportunities, and communities of practice (experts).
What are policy instruments?
Policy instruments are means or mechanisms by which decision-making authorities at different levels aim to achieve public policy objectives. While policy instruments are often referred to as being designed and implemented by public authorities only, IPBES explicitly embraces a broader understanding of policy instruments as well as policy support tools and methodologies.
Policy instruments might be more effective if the supporting formal and informal institutions are in place. Relevant institutions include public authorities, but also groups, organizations, indigenous people and local communities, entities and stakeholders that undertake activities relevant to biodiversity and ecosystem services. In the context of IPBES, there are four categories of policy instruments:
What are policy support tools?
In IPBES context, policy support tools and methodologies refer to approaches based on science and other knowledge systems. These can inform, assist and enhance development and implementation of policy instruments to better protect nature and promote its sustainable use at local, national, regional and global levels. Policy support tools can be categorised into the following families:
How do policy support tools and policy instruments relate to each other?
Policies need instruments to be materialised and operationalised. Policy instruments are means or techniques by which government/public authorities in local, national or international levels aim to achieve public policy objectives, such as to better protect nature and promote its sustainable use at local, national, regional and global levels. Furthermore, policy support tools and methodologies can inform and assist the development and implementation of policy instruments. New tools can also be developed for specific policy instruments.
What is the methodological guidance included in the Portal?
The Methodological guidance developed by IPBES is a section of the Policy Support Portal currently including guidance on using scenarios and models, and on the diverse conceptualisation of values. The methodological guidance can be seen as a ‘toolkit’ which describes the conceptual understandings, tools and data, and capacity of approaches that can be used for decision-making. It is based on the work developed so far on scenarios and models by providing an overview of what they are and how they can link to agenda setting and decision support; and on multiple conceptualizations of diverse values by providing the conceptual justification for the approach, explaining trough a six-step approach how to tackle them and providing an immersion to the topic for the IPBES community.