Red List of Ecosystems
Forests, river basins, coral reefs, wetlands, mangroves — all provide us with clean air, food, water, defence against climate change impacts and a host of other benefits, yet many of these natural systems face unprecedented threats. …
18 Aug 2014 | Article
Thematic Group Lead
Jon Paul Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Co Lead: David Keith (email@example.com)
Visit the new IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Website
During the present quadrennium (2009-2012) the Ecosystems Red List thematic group will focus primarily on fulfilling the mandate of Resolution 4.020 on “Quantitative thresholds for categories and criteria of threatened ecosystems,” adopted by the IUCN Membership during the IV World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain (5-14 October 2008).
Our central activity will be to coordinate a consultation process leading to the development of a global standard for the assessment of ecosystem status, analogous to the very influential IUCN Red List for Threatened Species. The adoption of such a standardized system would facilitate globally comparable, repeatable geographic analyses that clearly separate ecosystem risk assessment (a fundamentally scientific process), from the definition of conservation priorities, which should take into account additional factors, such as ecological distinctiveness, costs, logistics, likelihood of success, and societal preferences.
In February, 2011, draft categories and criteria for an IUCN Red List of Ecosystems were published in Conservation Biology. The article is available in English, Spanish and French, as well as summaries in Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese and Danish.
The next stage is to begin testing the category and criteria thresholds outlined in Table 1 of this article to as many case studies as possible. If you have data on ecosystem change and would like to try out the categories and criteria, please go ahead and let us know of the results! We plan to develop an on-line portfolio of case studies, available to anyone interested in the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. If you would like to develop an application and submit your data and results for everyone to see, you would be very welcomed.
We are especially (but not exclusively!) interested in applications to marine and freshwater ecosystems, as most of our efforts to date have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. For example, the recently published Venezuelan Red Book of Terrestrial Ecosystems (16MB) includes analyses at the national and state level, as well as several case studies at finer scales.
National-level Applications of the IUCN Red List for Sahelian and Marine Ecosystems
Scientific guidelines and case studies
Centre Suivi Ecologique, Dakar, Senegal 3-5 July 2012