In November 2015, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) team gathered in Melbourne, Australia, along with a global team of experts in ecosystem conservation, biodiversity policy and conservation action. The meeting was hosted by Deakin University, and was co-funded by Deakin, the IUCN, MAVA Foundation, and the State Government of Victoria. The objective of the meeting was to build a strategic plan for rolling out the IUCN RLE globally, to ensure adequate support and capacity for robust risk assessment and high quality outcomes.
In particular we sought to identify processes, resources and expertise required for effective assessment by region (e.g. a continent, country or set of countries) or by thematic classification (e.g. all coral reef ecosystems globally), learning from recent and ongoing RLE projects, and from processes used in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We also set about identifying regions or themes that are ripe for the picking, due to existing data, expertise and motivation from governments, NGOs, and groups of researchers and practitioners, and those countries/regions that will require greater effort in bringing people and data together – these are of equal priority but will potentially pose challenges for completing the global assessment, and will require longer term planning. Understanding how readily assessments can be started and completed, and developing an order in which to tackle assessments, will be critical to reaching our target of assessing the world’s ecosystems by 2025. A second over-arching theme was to prioritize the research needs for the application of the RLE and drive forwards the research agenda.
Outputs currently under development will include a Strategic Plan for the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, and a rubric for project planning, development and completion. We also finalized the Guidelines, now available on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems website, and honed the design of the RLE database, which will be an exceptional resource for biodiversity conservation worldwide.
Provita Apr 13, 2016