Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Americas
The region’s rich biodiversity and its benefits to people provide essential contributions to the economy, livelihoods, the quality of life and the eradication of poverty. The region is also bioculturally diverse, with traditional knowledge of indigenous people and local communities promoting, among other things, the diversification and conservation of many varieties of cultivated plants and domestic animals that are the staple foods of many other regions of the world. The region has successful experiences in biodiversity conservation, restoration and sustainable use, including some carried out by indigenous people and local communities. On the other hand, climate change, population growth and the consequent increase in demand for food, biomass and energy continue to have a serious impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions. These impacts are felt not only in terrestrial ecosystems, but also in wetlands, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. In some areas of the Americas, the degree of these impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions is threatening the economy, livelihoods and quality of life.
Within the generic scoping report of the Regional Assessments of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the Americas Assessment considers these effects, as well as future threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services and their benefits for a good quality of life in the Americas and its subregions (North America, Mesoamerica, the Caribbean and South America), taking into account their differences and the multiple types of social and economic inequality and distinctive biophysical conditions. Key processes, including urbanization and deruralization, natural resource exploitation, pollution, climate change, loss and degradation of natural habitats (terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine) in the subregions, and their impact on biodiversity, as well as the benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions for people and quality of life, are taken into account. The purpose of the Assessment is to make policy-relevant knowledge accessible and useful, using a multidisciplinary and multi-knowledge systems approach, and improving the science-policy interface aiming to improve governance towards sustainable uses of biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions.
The Plenary approved the Summary for Policymakers and accepted the chapters of the Assessment at its 6th session in March 2018 in Medellin, Colombia (IPBES 6). IPBES would like to acknowledge and thank all of the experts who contributed to the Assessment.
The IPBES Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Americas is composed of:
- A Summary for Policymakers (SPM); and
- A set of 6 chapters.
Please see below to access the Assessment Report and related documents.
For the purpose of this Assessment, the Americas extend from the Arctic region in the north to the sub-Antarctic region in the south, crossing the equator. There are many ways to subdivide this large region, but for the scope of this regional assessment it has been divided into four subregions: North America, Mesoamerica, the Caribbean and South America:
Canada and United States of America
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic,a Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana,a Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
a On socioeconomic, cultural and historical grounds, the Dominican Republic could be considered part of Mesoamerica, and Guyana part of the Caribbean.
Editors: Jake Rice, Cristiana Simão Seixas, María Elena Zaccagnini, Mauricio Bedoya-Gaitán, Natalia Valderrama
Members of the management committee who provided guidance for the production of this assessment: Brigitte Baptiste, Floyd Homer, Carlos Joly, Rodrigo Medellín (Multidisciplinary Expert Panel), Diego Pacheco, Spencer Thomas, Robert Watson (Bureau).
Suggested citation: IPBES (2018). The IPBES regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for the Americas. Rice, J., Seixas, C. S., Zaccagnini, M. E., Bedoya-Gaitán, M., and Valderrama N. (eds.). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany. 656 pages. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3236252