"Despite the increased attention, which has been given to the issue of involving knowledge and experts from the social sciences and humanities (SSH) into the products and works of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), little is known on what the expectations towards the involvement of SSH in IPBES actually are.

The aim of this paper is to close this gap by identifying the range of possible SSH contributions to IPBES that are expected in the literature, and discuss the inherent challenges of and concrete ways to realize these contributions in the particular institutional setting of IPBES. We address these two points by:

  • Firstly, assessing the literature dealing with IPBES and building a typology describing the main ways in which contributions from SSH to IPBES have been conceived between 2006 and 2017. We discuss these expected contributions in light of broader debates on the role of SSH in nature conservation and analyse some of the blind spots and selectivities in the perception of how SSH could substantially contribute to the works of IPBES.
  • Then, secondly, by looking at one particular example, economics and its use in the first thematic assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production, we will concretely illustrate how works in a given discipline could contribute in many different and unprecedented ways to the works of IPBES and help identify paths for enhancing the conservation of biodiversity.
  • Finally, we propose a range of practical recommendations as to how to increase the contribution of SSH in the works of IPBES."

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Alice B. M. Vadrot, Aleksandar Rankovic, Renaud Lapeyre, Pierre-Marie Aubert & Yann Laurans (2018). Why are social sciences and humanities needed in the works of IPBES? A systematic review of the literature, Innovation. The European Journal of Social Science Research, DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2018.1443799