A critical evaluation of the region’s biodiversity and ecosystem services. It evaluates the contributions of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as identifying major trends in these. Focus is given to different subregions, their distinct biomes, cultures and socio-economic differences. The region is highly biodiverse, with 20% of globally identified key biodiversity areas, some of the planet’s most extensive wilderness, and the largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. It is also the main origin of multiple important crops. However, the region faces many environmental issues: climate change, land and habitat degradation, pollution, economic disparity, land ownership rights, growing urbanisation, natural resource exploitation, and mistreatment of indigenous and local peoples.
IPBES critically evaluates the state of knowledge on the interactions between human societies and the natural world. An IPBES assessment is initiated by the Plenary, and performed by independent experts from multiple disciplines who contribute their time freely. The undertaking of the Americas assessment was approved by the Plenary at its third meeting with the approval of the scoping report for the assessment (Decision IPBES-3/1).
The first and second order drafts of the assessment report and the summary for policy makers are subject to review from external peer reviewers. Comments are made on the the accuracy and completeness of the scientific/technical/socio-economic content and the overall scientific/technical/socio-economic balance of the drafts. The aim of of the peerexternal reviewer phase to is to provide authors with constructive feedback that will help in preparing the assessment of the highest quality and legitimacy.