Winter at Ten Forward


In December 2013, I attended the Second Plenary of the newly-established Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Antalya, Turkey. This was an exploratory trip to scope out what became a major component my dissertation research. The atmosphere, as one colleague observed, felt reminiscent of Ten Forward: the lack of any money changing hands (it was in an all-inclusive, self-contained resort complex), the unending food and alcohol provided to delegates (as if replicated), the physical dimensions of the event itself (see photos), and the over-representation of scientist-diplomats gave this event ethnography a peculiar, starbase-like resemblance.

The main plenary hall of IPBES-2
Negotiators divide into break-out groups to resolve a particularly contentious decision regarding stakeholder engagement with IPBES
I found it striking just how much international diplomacy seems to depend on the vagaries of MS Word

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