SANParks Managing Executive Conservation Services: Dr Luthando Dziba. Photo supplied by SANParks

JOHANNESBURG - South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on Monday that its managing executive for conservation services Dr Luthando Dziba was recently appointed as a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) in the 6th Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"The outputs of IPBES assessments such as the report on the contribution of pollinators to food production have helped the public and policy makers understand the value of biodiversity and the contribution it makes to our quality of life today," Dr Dziba said. 

"The recently approved reports of regional assessments for Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Asia and Central Europe as well as land degradation add an important regional dimension to other aspects of biodiversity and ecosystem services. I am proud to have been appointed as a member of the MEP.”

SANParks said in statement that World Environment Day was celebrated annually on June 5, and is aimed at creating awareness and action for the protection of our environment. 

They said according to the United Nations (UN) “World Environment Day is the ‘people's day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth”. 

"That ‘something’ can be anything local, national or global and SANParks is doing its part both locally and globally. The theme for this year is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ and is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, plastic pollution," SANParks said.

"The IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body, established by UN member States in 2012. It provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets."

SANParks said the MEP was comprised of five expert participants from each of the five UN regions, overseeing all IPBES scientific and technical functions. 

"They are appointed for three years with the possibility of re-election for one consecutive term. Their functions are, Provide advice to the Plenary on scientific and technical aspects of the Platform’s programme of work, Help oversee the  Platform’s peer-review process to ensure the highest levels of scientific quality, independence and credibility for all products delivered by the Platform," Dziba said.

“I look forward to engaging with people worldwide in finding solutions for the sustainability of the world’s natural assets.A very critical task at hand is the finalization of the Global Assessment of the state of biodiversity and nature’s contribution to people. The other big task is to catalyze knowledge gaps identified in the recent assessments." 

African News Agency/ANA