The IPBES conceptual framework: An unhelpful start

Donald Maier, Alan Feest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
512 Downloads (Pure)


The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have recently launched themselves as the UN-sanctioned instrument for conserving nature. They seek to establish themselves as the authority in this field alongside the well-known Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in climate science. Quickly following or even before recent publication of their conceptual framework in two biology journals, they were already underway building upon it. This headlong push, we believe, is ill advised. We show how the framework is unsound as a foundation for further work—in a number of ways and perhaps even by its authors’ own lights. It is therefore urgent that the IPBES thoroughly and thoughtfully reconsider their framework before too much effort is wasted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-347
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Economic valuation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Stakeholders
  • Sustainable development
  • Value


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