UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations will establish an expert panel to advise governments on science and policy issues related to biodiversity, officials in New York say.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, endorsed at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, will assess evidence on the causes and effects of nature degradation and policy options, the BBC reported Tuesday.
The new organization is similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and will be similarly charged with providing "gold-standard" reports to governments.
"IPBES represents a major breakthrough in terms of organizing a global response to the loss of living organisms and forests, freshwater, coral reefs and other ecosystems that underpin all life -- including economic life -- on Earth," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, which will host the panel until a decision is taken on where it will be sited.