In May 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) invited Executive Heads of International and other Organizations to respond to a questionnaire on the future work of the IPCC. In response, the United Nations University’sTraditional Knowledge Initiative in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity made a joint submission to the IPCC.
The joint submission was made by UNU and other UN agencies with specialized expertise on traditional knowledge of the environment and takes into account those submissions already received as part of the review process of the IPCCC. It draws upon decades of experience dedicated to expanding contributions to the global knowledge base on issues such as climate change and biodiversity through the appropriate inclusion of indigenous, local and traditional knowledge within science and environmental policy.
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, set up at the request of member governments. The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC produces reports that support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the main international treaty on climate change.
The IPCC has published five comprehensive assessment reports reviewing the latest climate science, as well as a number of special reports on particular topics. The IPCC published its first assessment report in 1990, a supplementary report in 1992, a second assessment report (SAR) in 1995, a third assessment report (TAR) in 2001, a fourth assessment report (AR4) in 2007 and a fifth assessment report (AR5) in 2014.
At the conclusion of each assessment process the IPCC generally reflects on the report preparation process and draws lessons to inform consideration of the IPCC’s future work programmes and processes. In this context it also addresses questions such as mandate of the IPCC Working Groups, structure and scope of future reports, and timing of IPCC products. At its 37th Session (Batumi, Georgia, 14-18 October 2013) the Panel initiated a discussion about future work of the IPCC. In preparation of the Session governments were invited to submit their initial views on which topics and questions should be addressed with respect to the future work of the IPCC. The Panel at its 37th Session decided to set up a Task Group to help the IPCC to continue to improve its operation and products.