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Global biodiversity group confronts cash crunch

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Science  31 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6332, pp. 1358
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6332.1358

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A major effort to size up and preserve biodiversity is under threat. Governmental donations to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which is overseen by the United Nations, have not kept pace with its ambitious 7-year agenda. To make ends meet, IPBES approved contentious budget cuts at its annual meeting in Bonn, Germany, this month, including a cut of almost one-third for 2018. These reductions will set back efforts to identify practical conservation policy tools and help build the capacity of governments and others to use those tools. The organization also postponed three major reports, sparking acrimony among its members. The changes have left some developing countries feeling that major funders are skewing IPBES priorities. IPBES managers say they are contending with not only a cash crunch, but also a lack of staff and volunteer time. Boosting the accounts is a top priority.

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