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It has been eight years formally implementing the RLE

21 / May / 2022Events

It has been eight years formally implementing the RLE

The official approval of this global standard in 2014 by the IUCN Council prompted its implementation worldwide!


After eight years, more than 4000 ecosystems units have been assessed using the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria. Such a critical standard, developed for monitoring the conservation status of ecosystems, aims to support conservation, resource use, and management decisions by identifying ecosystems most at risk of biodiversity loss. The five RLE criteria provide a repeatable and globally consistent method for classifying ecosystems according to their vulnerability to change in response to present or future threats.

In recent years, the Red List of Ecosystems Thematic Group was involved in the development of two key products, the Global Ecosystem Typology and the RLE Database. The first aims to support the application of the RLE across different ecosystem types and geographical areas, ensuring a common language when it comes to the characterization of the ecosystem units. On the other hand, the RLE database seeks to compile and make available the information from assessments conducted all over the world, including those carried out at the national level.

Moreover, in 2019, the RLE Partnership was established to provide support to advance the development, maintenance, promotion and use of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, also serving to coordinate activities related to biodiversity assessment and share information enabling the members to achieve their own goals for biodiversity conservation.

In addition to all the above, with the upcoming closure on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the RLE standard becomes even more relevant as three ecosystem indicators (Ecosystem Area Index, Ecosystem Health Index, and Red List Index of Ecosystems) developed by members of the RLE Thematic Group have been accepted by the Biodiversity Indicator Partnership (BIP); providing yet another valuable addition for biodiversity monitoring toolkits.

Written by: Susana Barreto

Style and Format: Lila Garcia





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