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The Scientific Foundations of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is a joint project of IUCN/CEM and the IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme, with funding from the MAVA Foundation. The overall goal of the project is to develop the implementation of the Red List of Ecosystems at the global, regional and national level. In order to accomplish this, we undertake activities that can be broadly grouped into: RLE Development, Public Awareness, Capacity Building and Scientific Meetings, all of which are key components of the RLE effort.
With the generous support of our donors, and in collaboration with partners from around the world, IUCN-CEM is leading and supporting different initiatives worldwide in order to apply the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria. These initiatives can be continental, national or oriented to single ecosystems, while their scope can be global, regional or local. Assessments on the global scope are the main focus of IUCN, as they will help us reach our goal of completing an assessment of all of the world’s ecosystems by 2025. An assessment is considered to be “global” when the entire extension of an ecosystem, as defined by unique biotic and abiotic components, is considered.
The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria may be applied systematically to a set of ecosystem types within a specified area of assessment (global or sub-global) or to single ecosystem types. Development of a global ecosystem typology is currently underway (led by IUCN´s RLE Committee for Scientific Standards and the CEM RLE Thematic Group) to ensure consistent and comparable ecosystem risk assessments across an assessment area. A Global Ecosystem Typology will also provide a global framework for reporting on Aichi targets, Sustainable Development Goals, and natural capital accounting, as well as for structuring global risk assessments for the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems.
Ecosystems are the places where we live, but they are not only spaces: they provide us and every other living being with everything that we need to exist. In some cases, ecosystems have been transformed in obvious ways, but in others, the changes are not readily evident and might result in erroneous assumptions regarding the naturalness of the ecosystem. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest aims to engage people with sensitive eyes in the world to capture and demonstrate where the Wild Beauty and Changing World ecosystems are. So far, 3 successful editions of this contest have been held (2012, 2014, 2016), where the participation of more than 150 people from all around the world has been achieved.