IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

Gland, Switzerland

IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

Gland, Switzerland

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Keith D.A.,University of New South Wales | Keith D.A.,Australian National University | Keith D.A.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | Keith D.A.,IUCN Species Survival Commission | And 22 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2015

In response to growing demand for ecosystem-level risk assessment in biodiversity conservation, and rapid proliferation of locally tailored protocols, the IUCN recently endorsed new Red List criteria as a global standard for ecosystem risk assessment. Four qualities were sought in the design of the IUCN criteria: generality; precision; realism; and simplicity. Drawing from extensive global consultation, we explore trade-offs among these qualities when dealing with key challenges, including ecosystem classification, measuring ecosystem dynamics, degradation and collapse, and setting decision thresholds to delimit ordinal categories of threat. Experience from countries with national lists of threatened ecosystems demonstrates well-balanced trade-offs in current and potential applications of Red Lists of Ecosystems in legislation, policy, environmental management and education. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems should be judged by whether it achieves conservation ends and improves natural resource management, whether its limitations are outweighed by its benefits, and whether it performs better than alternative methods. Future development of the Red List of Ecosystems will benefit from the history of the Red List of Threatened Species which was trialed and adjusted iteratively over 50 years from rudimentary beginnings. We anticipate the Red List of Ecosystems will promote policy focus on conservation outcomes in situ across whole landscapes and seascapes. © 2015 The Authors.


Garcia S.M.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | Rice J.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Charles A.,Saint Mary's University, Halifax
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2016

Balanced harvest (BH) proposes to distribute a moderate mortality from fishing across the widest possible range of species, stocks, and sizes in an ecosystem, in proportion to their natural productivity so that the relative size and species composition are maintained, in line with the CBD requirement for sustainable use. This proposal has many and not always intuitive implications for fisheries management, e.g. in relation to selectivity, protection of juveniles and spawning sites, models of harvesting strategies, a focus on size and species, the impacts of discarding, aspects of emblematic species and ecosystem services, operational complexity, partial implementation, ecosystem rebuilding, and relations with broader management frameworks. The paper closes with a discussion of BH implementation, concluding that a logical step would be to integrate several separate initiatives to move fisheries into a more ecosystem-conscious context. Implementation challenges will be encountered, but there are lessons to be drawn from fishery ecosystems already close to BH, as in some tropical multispecies fisheries, and further, the implementation challenges are already being taken on in many well-managed fisheries and areas as management begins to address the realities of what ecosystem-based fishery management actually entails. © 2015 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Rodriguez J.P.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rodriguez J.P.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | Rodriguez J.P.,IUCN Species Survival Commission | Rodriguez-Clark K.M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | And 5 more authors.
Sapiens | Year: 2012

We begin by briefly examining the achievements of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and offering it as the model and motivator for the creation of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE). The history of the RLE concept within IUCN is briefly summarized, from the first attempt to formally establish an RLE in 1996 to the present. Major activities since 2008, when the World Conservation Congress initiated a "consultation process for the development, implementation and monitoring of a global standard for the assessment of ecosystem status, applicable at local, regional and global levels," have included: Development of a research agenda for strengthening the scientific foundations of the RLE, publication of preliminary categories and criteria for examination by the scientific and conservation community, dissemination of the effort widely by presenting it at workshops and conferences around the world, and encouraging tests of the system for a diversity of ecosystem types and in a variety of institutional settings. Between 2009 and 2012, the Red List of Ecosystems Thematic Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management organized 18 workshops and delivered 17 conferences in 20 countries on 5 continents, directly reaching hundreds of participants. Our vision for the future includes the integration of the RLE to the other three key IUCN knowledge products (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, World Database on Protected Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas), in an on-line, user-driven, freely-accessible information management system for performing biodiversity assessments. In addition we wish to pilot the integration of the RLE into land/water use planning and macro-economic planning. Fundamental challenges for the future include: Substantial expansion in existing institutional and technical capacity (especially in biodiversity-rich countries in the developing world), progressive assessment of the status of all terrestrial, freshwater, marine and subterranean ecosystems, and development of a map of the ecosystems of the world. Our ultimate goal is that national, regional and global RLEs are used to inform conservation and land/water use decision-making by all sectors of society. © Author(s) 2012.


Gilman E.,Hawaii Pacific University | Passfield K.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | Nakamura K.,Columbia University
Fish and Fisheries | Year: 2014

A performance assessment was conducted of regional fisheries management organizations' (RFMOs') bycatch governance, one element of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Obtaining a mean score of 25%, with a 64% CV, collectively the RFMOs have large governance deficits. Individually, there has been mixed progress, with some RFMOs having made substantial progress for some governance elements. There has been nominal progress in gradually transitioning to ecosystem-based fisheries management: controls largely do not account for broad or multispecies effects of fishing, and cross-sectoral marine spatial planning is limited. Regional observers collect half of minimum information needed to assess the efficacy of bycatch measures. Over two-thirds of RFMO-managed fisheries lack regional observer coverage. International exchange of observers occurs in one-third of programmes. There is no open access to research-grade regional observer data. Ecological risk assessments focus on effects of bycatch removals on vulnerable species groups and effects of fishing on vulnerable benthic marine ecosystems. RFMOs largely do not assess or manage cryptic, generally undetectable sources of fishing mortality. Binding measures address about one-third of bycatch problems. Eighty per cent of measures lack explicit performance standards against which to assess efficacy. Measures are piecemeal, developed without considering potential conflicts across vulnerable groups. RFMOs employ 60% of surveillance methods required to assess compliance. A lack of transparency and limited reporting of inspection effort, identified infractions, enforcement actions and outcomes further limits the ability to assess compliance. Augmented harmonization could help to fill identified deficits. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Rodriguez J.P.,Instituto Venezolano Of Investigaciones Cientificas | Keith D.A.,University of New South Wales | Rodriguez-Clark K.M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Murray N.J.,University of New South Wales | And 10 more authors.
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2015

The newly developed IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is part of a growing toolbox for assessing risks to biodiversity, which addresses ecosystems and their functioning. The Red List of Ecosystems standard allows systematic assessment of all freshwater, marine, terrestrial and subterranean ecosystem types in terms of their global risk of collapse. In addition, the Red List of Ecosystems categories and criteria provide a technical base for assessments of ecosystem status at the regional, national, or subnational level. While the Red List of Ecosystems criteria were designed to be widely applicable by scientists and practitioners, guidelines are needed to ensure they are implemented in a standardized manner to reduce epistemic uncertainties and allow robust comparisons among ecosystems and over time. We review the intended application of the Red List of Ecosystems assessment process, summarize 'best-practice' methods for ecosystem assessments and outline approaches to ensure operational rigour of assessments. The Red List of Ecosystems will inform priority setting for ecosystem types worldwide, and strengthen capacity to report on progress towards the Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. When integrated with other IUCN knowledge products, such as the World Database of Protected Areas/Protected Planet, Key Biodiversity Areas and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Red List of Ecosystems will contribute to providing the most complete global measure of the status of biodiversity yet achieved. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Rodriguez J.P.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rodriguez J.P.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | Rodriguez J.P.,IUCN Species Survival Commission | Keith D.A.,IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management | And 15 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2015

The newly developed IUCNRed List of Ecosystems is part of a growing toolbox for assessing risks to biodiversity, which addresses ecosystems and their functioning. The Red List of Ecosystems standard allows systematic assessment of all freshwater, marine, terrestrial and subterranean ecosystem types in terms of their global risk of collapse. In addition, the Red List of Ecosystems categories and criteria provide a technical base for assessments of ecosystem status at the regional, national, or subnational level.While theRed List of Ecosystemscriteria were designed to bewidelyapplicable byscientists and practitioners, guidelines are needed to ensure they are implemented in a standardized manner to reduce epistemic uncertainties and allow robust comparisons among ecosystems and over time. We review the intended application of the Red List of Ecosystems assessment process, summarize ‘best-practice’ methods for ecosystem assessments and outline approaches to ensure operational rigour of assessments. The Red List of Ecosystems will inform priority setting for ecosystem types worldwide, and strengthen capacity to report on progress towards the Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. When integrated with other IUCN knowledge products, such as the World Database of Protected Areas/Protected Planet, Key Biodiversity Areas and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Red List of Ecosystems will contribute to providing the most complete global measure of the status of biodiversity yet achieved. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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