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Aberystwyth academic appointed to global diversity study

Professor Mike Christe of Aberystwyth University has been appointed co-chair of a global assessment on the value and sustainable use of wild species.

A Professor of Environmental and Ecological Economics at Aberystwyth Business School, Mike Christie is one of four international experts who will lead the assessment on behalf of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

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The study will focus on the diverse conceptualisations of multiple values of nature and is one of two major assessments by the IPBES starting this year.

Professor Christie will co-chair the assessment with Professor Patricia Balvanera (Institute for Ecosystem and Sustainability Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico); Brigitte Baptiste (General Director, Alexander von Humboldt Institute, Colombia), and Professor Unai Pascual (Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Spain, and Associated Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland).


Speaking after the appointment was announced at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), in Frankfurt Germany, Professor Christie said: “The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aims to generate evidence to help protect the World’s natural resources. As one of the co-chairs of the ‘Values’ assessment, I will be leading a team of international experts to explore the multiple ways in which people enjoy and benefit from nature and, importantly, how people’s values for nature can be incorporated into policy decisions. It is thus a great honour to have been selected to chair this assessment and thus play a critical role in developing evidence that will support biodiversity conservation policies.”

The technical support unit, which will coordinate the production of the assessment, will be based in Morelia, Mexico, and hosted by the Institute for Research on Ecosystems and Sustainability (IIES-UNAM), the Secretariat of Institutional Development (SDI-UNAM), and the University Seminar on Society, Environment and Institutions (SUSMAI-UNAM) all within the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Mexican Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).

Professor Christie has also co-led an international study for the IPBES on biodiversity loss in Europe and Central Asia, and the findings were published at a conference in Colombia in March 2018.

IPBES was established in 2012 as an independent body, comprising 130 United Nations Member States, along with numerous NGOs and civil society groups.

It aims to provide a robust evidence base for better policy through science, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.