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Ecosystem Insider March 2022


Ecosystem Insider brings you news from the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

March 2022 Edition 5

Dear IUCN CEM Member, We are pleased to bring you the 5th Issue of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) Newsletter.

CEM Highlights

The 53rd Steering Committee meeting took place virtually during march 10th and 11th where several topics were addressed including the status of membership, where to the date we have 1160 members (which represent a 70% of the total membership compared to 2021) and 227 which are part of the young professional network. Currently, we have 39 technical groups including thematic groups, specialist groups, task forces and the YPN as well as 14 regional groups from all continents. Some of the most relevant topics addressed during the meeting were the revision and approval of the work plans from all technical groups and regions, which are aligned with the IUCN 2024 program and are available in the portal, and the revision of the adopted resolutions during the WCC in Marseille in which CEM will contribute, among others. During the meeting, Stewart Magginis, IUCN Deputy Director General and recently appointed as focal point for CEM in the Secretariat and who we have been working with closely during the last few years was also present, as well as members from the CSU, who gave us a complete briefing on the process of the new IUCN website and membership process.

Latest IPCC Report published

The latest report released this week by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns about the latest causes, impacts and solutions to climate change globally. The report assessed ecosystems, biodiversity and human communities. The results warn that climate change impacts are happening now with an increase in wildfires, heat waves, rising sea levels, and natural disasters leading to water supplies being at risk and people being displaced from their homes. It also reviewed vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits if the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change.

As a result of the report, the six IUCN commissions responded with a joint statement where they remind the world “we must not miss the narrowing window of opportunity to stop and reverse biodiversity loss trends. We underscore the urgent need to take effective and concerted action addressing drivers of biodiversity loss, and build lasting partnerships, to secure intact natural ecosystems, restore degraded ecosystems and prevent further loss and degradation. These actions will not only contribute to climate mitigation but also build resilience and improve human well-being, especially among those communities most vulnerable to climate change. To read the full IUCN statement visit The full report can be consulted here:


Development of Standards of Practice for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

In 2021, CEM’s Ecosystem Restoration Thematic Group partnered with the Society for Ecological Restoration and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’s Task Force on Best Practices to lead the development of ten guiding principles that underpin restorative management activities for the UN Decade. The principles were created through a collaborative, co-production process that included inputs from individuals in more than 57 countries. Now that the principles have been published, the next step is to develop standards of practice (SoPs) to facilitate application of the principles to the planning, implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of ecosystem restoration. The process has already begun, starting with a stocktaking of existing standards of practices for a wide range of restorative activities. In late March and April, a special Global Forum will bring together around 80 experts in restoration science, practice, and policy to provide input in the process; and the first draft of the standards of practice will move to the global consultation phase in June. Please keep an eye out for announcements on opportunities to participate and if you have any questions, please contact

Join the IMEC discussions.

The Impact Mitigation and Ecological Compensation Thematic Group, under its new workplan, has created three working groups to enable us to focus in on some of the most fundamental challenges. IMEC members are welcome to join the discussions being held by any or all of the groups (and of course all CEM members are welcome to join IMEC). The groups include:

  • Cumulative Impacts Working Group (contact: Jeremy Simmonds)

  • Nature Positive Working Group (contact: Mark Johnston)

  • Finance, Governance and Implementation Working Group (contacts: Ray Victurine and Kerstin Brauneder).

Human Health and Integrated Nature-based Solutions to Reduce Zoonotic Risk

CEM’s Human Health Thematic Group is finalizing the report of the project “Integrated Nature-based Solutions to Reduce Zoonotic Risks”. This project aims to understand how Nature Based Solutions can be implemented to reduce zoonotic disease risk. There is a large gap in knowledge about the effects of NbS and zoonotic diseases with only a small number of studies found. The results point to a positive effect, with protected areas and the presence of green roofs being able to decrease the transmission risk of these diseases. However, the presence and configuration of urban trees and the configuration of forest restoration can bring unexpected results and increase the transmission risk, especially if they increase the connectivity of these areas. These preliminary results show that NbS can be effective for human health but must be properly planned. Understanding how these tools can prevent and control zoonotic disease transmission is key to building healthy landscapes and preventing new pandemics.

A short film to protect wetlands

The 12,500 hectares East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) is a living heritage and a unique asset of Kolkata that contributes to sustain the city, and is a recognized Wetland of International Importance, since 2002. This year, after 2 decades of Ramsar recognition, Dhruba DasGupta, a CEM member, devoted caretaker of "our" Dhruba's heritage and winner of the Luc Hoffmann award, along with the SCOPE team released a short film to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands and present a current picture of these critically endangered wetlands and appeals to all stakeholders for its better protection. SCOPE has been working among the wetland community for more than a decade.

To watch the short film, visit For more information on SCOPE visit

A newly adopted definition for “Nature-based Solutions”

The Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) has adopted a standard definition of the term Nature-based solutions (NbS), based on the definition used by IUCN for recognizing the important role they play in the global response to climate change and its social, economic and environmental effects. The agreed-upon definition of NbS is ‘actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits.’ At CEM we are very happy to see that IUCN’ definition for Nature-based Solutions is taken one step forward! CEM has not only contributed by advocating to promote a clear understanding of what NbS are, but has also emphasized on the importance of restoration of degraded ecosystems globally and the promotion of ecological restoration as an initiative that contributes to promoting ecological integrity. The ‘Resolution on Nature-based Solutions for Supporting Sustainable Development’ also calls on UNEP to support the implementation of NbS, which safeguard the rights of communities and indigenous peoples.

To read the full news visit:

The Red List of Ecosystems at the Caribbean Regional Mangrove Symposium

As part of the closing events of the British Virgin Islands’ Post-Disaster Restoration of Mangroves (PROM) project, a regional workshop and scientific symposium was held at the beginning of March with the purpose of showcase the work of the BVI projects on post-disaster mangrove restoration in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. With the participation of over 400 attendees from 61 countries and under the title “Mangrove Restoration as a Nature-based Solution for Climate Resilience in the Caribbean”, this event included a Red List of Ecosystems technical session focused on understanding trends to define actions in the Caribbean and highlight the BVI and French Antilles work with the RLE protocol and mangrove restoration.

Presentations were given by CEM members Marcos Valderrabano (Programme Officer of the Red List of the Ecosystems) who gave an introduction to the RLE and its application in mangrove restoration, Dr. Irene Zager (Director of Research at Provita, from the RLE Partnership) who shared learnings from the RLE assessment of the mangroves of BVI, and Dr. Alix Sauve (Project Manager for Red List of Ecosystems, French Committee of IUCN) presenting how to deal with data scarcity and proposal for mangrove ecosystem description and perspectives for risk assessment.


IMEC webinars

Recently hosted was an information and discussion session, led by Sophus zu Ermgassen from the University of Kent, which focused on the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ call for consultation on biodiversity net gain regulations and implementation. The consultation remains open until April 5th. The next webinar, which will be co-hosted with the COMBO Project, is titled Biodiversity conservation in Madagascar: Do no net loss commitments help? The webinar will be held on March 31st and is open to all. Register here to join the presentations and discussion on ‘no net loss’ as it relates to the Ambatovy mine in Madagascar. The session will feature fascinating new research on impact evaluation of offsets, led by Katie Devenish from Bangor university. See the full publication here, and here for some recent media coverage of the featured analysis.

Ecosystem Restoration Webinars

The Ecosystem Restoration Thematic Group continues its monthly webinar series in 2022: Ecosystem Restoration: Global Initiatives in Science and Practice. The objective of the webinar series is to provide a forum to gain insight and knowledge on ecological restoration and to provide opportunities for networking and direct engagement. Meeting on the 3rd Friday of each month from 12:00 - 13:00 EDT (UTC-4), a different speaker will give a presentation on their work, related to ecological restoration. If you were registered in 2021 but have not yet registered this year, please register here: Recordings of each session are available here:

Global Prosperity in the Face of Climate Change: The Pursuit of a Sustainable Future

CEM member, Dr. Abu Saleh Md Kibria, along with several colleagues will be hosting the Global Prosperity in the Face of Climate Change: The Pursuit of a Sustainable Future webinar where three prominent researchers will talk about the future sustainable development. The event is intended to approach the issue of global sustainable development in the face of climate change and natural degradation from the standpoint of harmonious co-existence of the natural ecosystems and humans. This webinar will take place fully online on April 08, 2022 at 8am-10.30am MST. The registration is free and can be done through here.

Presentation on the Arctic in a Rapidly Changing World

As part of the Ocean Science Conference on March 3, SERT member John Waugh co-presented as part of a panel on understanding the Arctic in a rapidly changing world. The session topic was on innovation and integration of alternative platforms and sensors for ecosystem understanding. A corresponding video of the panel is available here:

Nature-based Solutions Conference

From July 5-7th the Nature-based Solutions Conference 2022 will bring together leading researchers from the social and natural sciences, engineering and economics, along with practitioners, policymakers, civil society actors and business leaders to enhance understanding of the value of nature-based solutions to societal challenges and help ensure they support thriving human societies and ecosystems without compromising efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

The conference will consist of 11 2-hour sessions across three days, with each including diverse speakers including several CEM members, to address research, practice and policy, and case studies that encompass the global north and south, urban and rural. The conference venue which will take place at the Oxford Natural History Museum will also include immersive art and nature experiences. Several members will be participating in the event, including Chair, Angela Andrade.

XV World Forestry Congress

The XV World Forestry Congress will be held from 2 to 6 May 2022 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Congress was originally scheduled for May of 2021, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme of the XV WFC is Building a Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests. At the event, Cara Nelson, leader of the Nature Based Solutions Thematic group will be leading the first global consultation on the standards of practice for the Decade. For more information on the Congress and for registration, visit

Nature-based Solutions Conference

The first IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC), initially planned to take place in March, will be held from July 18-23rd, 2022 with the aim of discussing conservation of the continent’s protected areas. Through the Congress, all partners hope to achieve African leadership commitment towards creating a unified African voice in conservation that will value African people and nature through effective protected areas. The IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is the first ever continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens, and interest groups to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa’s iconic wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development while conserving Africa’s cultural heritage and traditions. During the event, several CEM members will be leading events on Biosphere Reserves as NbS, using the Red List of Ecosystems for improving the design and management of protected areas, skills on Ecosystem Approach for the management of protected areas, assessing and strengthening natural resource governance in Africa, and engaging MPA’s in a getting to resilience” process. For more information on the Congress and to register in person or virtually visit


12th CEM Dialogue: The Power of women-led conservation in mountain ecosystems

Gender-inclusive conservation practices have far-reaching multiplier effects. Yet, there are large barriers to overcome. CEM recently published a research compendium on gender-specific knowledges for ecosystem management in mountain regions. The publication captures diverse approaches worldwide that integrate critical feminist perspectives within nature conservation. Join us for a discussion with the authors to learn more about the publication and the urgency of integrating critical feminist knowledges within environmental stewardship.

13th CEM Dialogue: Nature-based Solutions in Mountain Ecosystems

Mountain communities have been living in harmony with nature for millennia and to a large extent were able to buffer the negative impacts of environmental hazards and risks including due to climate change and biodiversity loss. However, due to the fast pace of current changes, this capacity is weakening. Therefore, by innovatively applying NbS tools in the mountain settings for protecting, adapting and restoring landscapes to address various societal needs can help prevent or reduce the effects of these environmental challenges and help protect downstream landscapes as well as communities who are dependent on the ecosystem services provided by mountain ecosystems. We must learn from these approaches and case studies that also include rich cultural and indigenous knowledge systems to ensure that their knowledge is mainstreamed and to help informing policy and practice around the world. will bring in examples, experiences, concerns on mountain NbS that will help understand key enabling and constraining conditions to enhance effectiveness of NbS in mountain areas.

Watch the full webinar here:

The 14th CEM Dialogue was hosted on March 29th by Liette Vasseur and Mike Jones who discussed on governance and resilience and the relationships within adaptive systems and absence of regulatory policy needed to stop degradation. The dialogue highlighted the fact that the organizations sch as the United Nations have drafted and adopted a series of conventions, agreements, and other instruments to attempt this non-stop exploitation of natural and non-renewable resources, but very little progress has been reported to date. We have seen and continue to experience the same challenge with climate change, Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. At the same time, academics (mainly) continue promoting the concept of resilience and inclusive and adaptive governance. The session opened up a difficult question: are we capable of changing the system?

Watch the fill dialogue here:

To watch all previous CEM dialogues you can visit our YouTube channel here:


The new IUCN website which is expected to be released in June, we will soon be sending out a template to be filled out by each group lead and co-lead which will be used for the landing page for each group. This information must be sent by the end of May at the latest.


Red List of Ecosystems on Ecosystem risk of collapse

Climate change vulnerability used as a factor to asses ecosystems risk of collapse is a publication on a series of indicators for each type gauge the probability of range wide “collapse”. Climate change vulnerability can factor into RLE assessments, especially as indicators of climate change severity under the criteria for environmental degradation over the recent and upcoming 50 years. The team applied a new framework to assess climate change vulnerability—and thus, severity of climate change degradation—to a cross-section of 33 upland ecosystem types in the United States to demonstrate this input to the RLE. The framework addressed climate exposure and ecosystem resilience. Measures of climate change exposure used climate projections for the mid-21st century compared against a 20th century baseline. Augmenting measures in use for RLE assessment, measures of resilience included several for adaptive capacity, including topoclimate variability, diversity with functional species groups, and vulnerability of any keystone species.

Aquaculture, a NbS for the future?

A recent report on aquaculture and Nature-based Solutions was recently published under the AquaCoCo project in collaboration with IUCN and focuses on aquaculture production, which has had a significant increase in tonnage and value over the last decades, and is seen as a potential solution for the declining wild fishery stocks. It also examines aquaculture systems within the recent framework of the IUCN Global Standard for NbS and reviews the critical contextual situation, highlighting major issues related to climate change, biodiversity and endangered marine ecosystems to identify synergies between sustainable development of coastal communities, aquaculture, and marine and coastal conservation. The study examines the emerging concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and the IUCN Global Standard for NbS when applied to socio-ecological systems that include aquaculture production. Read the full publication here: And the official IUCN report here.

Transformative Conservation in Ecosystems

CEM members Dorian Fougères, Mike Jones, Chair Angela Andrade, Pam McElwee, and Steve Edwards just published a new article in Global Sustainability regarding "Transformative Conservation in Ecosystems." In the article, the authors discuss how many conservation initiatives call for ‘transformative change’ to counter biodiversity loss, climate change, and injustice. The term connotes fundamental, broad, and durable changes to human relationships with nature. However, if oversimplified or overcomplicated, or not focused enough on power and the political action necessary for change, associated initiatives can perpetuate or exacerbate existing crises. The authors aim to help practitioners deliberately catalyze and steer transformation processes. The article provides a theoretically and practically grounded definition of ‘transformative conservation’, along with six strategic, interlocking recommendations. These cover systems pedagogy, political mobilization, inner transformation, as well as planning, action, and continual adjustment. The article is freely-available at

Panarchy and Spatiotemporal Variability

SERT member Dr. Ahjond Garmestani, along with Dr. Craig Allen and Dr. Lance Gunderson, has a new edited volume entitled Applied Panarchy: Applications and Diffusion across Disciplines, that will be released on April 1, 2022 from Island Press. Panarchy (or nature’s rules) is a framework to understand change (stable and orderly versus abrupt and discontinuous over time and space) in social-ecological systems and for governing and managing complex environmental issues. For more information visit – or see especially this great write-up

Well-Being for All Beings

SERT member Beth Allgood launched this report in mid-March on Advancing Well-Being for All Beings. She explains: “We have written the following report in order to better understand three key trends: the reorientation of policy priorities away from a short-term economic frame toward measures of well-being, the deepening understanding of the holistic value of wildlife to ecosystems and human communities, and the growing role that community conservation plays in the conservation movement today. We have identified specific ways these movements can be enhanced and connected in order to improve both well-being and species conservation.” Read the full publication at

Brief on Environmental Management, Rights, and Governance

SERT member Edmund Barrow published an Environmental Brief for the International Food Policy Research Institute. As Ed describes in the abstract, “Environmental management is important for agriculture, democracy, governance, and peace as landscape approaches integrate land, water and biodiversity use, and are predicated on governance and secure tenure. Sustainable environmental management is the foundation for integrated landscape management (ILM), agriculture and conservation, where secure tenure for land and other natural resources supports environmental management, creates incentives for climate-smart agriculture, and protects ecosystem services.” Environmental management needs the support of secure rights and appropriate governance.

Brief on Environmental Management, Rights, and Governance

SERT member Dr. Harini Santhanam has four very recent publications from her group which look at the vulnerability and resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems in India. These are:

  1. EcoDRR led framework The first paper presents an analysis of the transformational processes and resilience of a coastal lagoon ecosystem in India, Pulicat. The link to this paper is

  2. Enhancing the benefits of Marine Fishery Advisories The second one is a case study from Odisha, India on the socio-technical constraints among fishers to utilise the services of marine fishery advisories provided to them.

  3. Enhancing the benefits of Multipurpose Cyclone shelters The third one pertains to a report of the coastal vulnerability of a fish landing centre, Talsari, Odisha, India in the face of a recent cyclonic storm, Yaas.

  4. Working Seascapes We also reported the status of the marine fisheries in India related to the Covid-19 pandemic and some developments in the context, which will determine both the environmental and economic resilience building in future.

Biocultural Conservation in Malaysian Borneo

SERT member Jurry Foo published a new chapter Tagal System: A Biocultural Conservation Approach in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, in the edited volume, Conserving Biocultural Landscapes in Malaysia and Indonesia for Sustainable Development. The link to the book is


For this new intersessional period, we have several new thematic group leaders we are proud to have as part of our team. In this issue we decided to introduce them and share a bit of what their motivations to be group leaders are. Welcome to all new leads and co-leads!

Sara Burbi – Lead for the Biosphere Reserve Thematic Group Contact:

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself. I was born in Italy, but I grew up between Africa and South America. Returned to Italy, I graduated in Veterinary Medicine and became interested in the relationships between humans and domesticated and wild animals. I travelled to Ecuador to work as a veterinarian and collaborate with NGOs on various projects in the Pichincha Province, where I provided support for deprived urban and rural communities. During this time, I became very interested in climate change and the impact on people and the landscapes. This fostered a new career to blend science and practice, to integrate traditional and academic knowledges. The world was awakening to 'sustainability' and then to 'resilience', and so provided a foundation for me in agroecology to foster transdisciplinarity and integration of knowledges from all people involved, in particular those most impacted. I now predominantly work with farming communities on maintaining, designing, or restoring food systems based on agroecological principles to respect natural resources available, cycle nutrients, and empower communities by reducing their dependence on external inputs and working with the ecosystem rather than damaging it, the objective being food and water sovereignty.

  2. What was your motivation to join the Commission? I had been following the work of the Commission for some time, but it's only during my PhD that I became part of it. More precisely, during my last year I met a member and theme group leader. We discussed resilience in many instances, in particular the importance of participatory approaches and agroecology, and how system thinking can help us understand the interconnections between all the elements of an ecosystem, the contexts in which we operate, the impact of governance, and the importance of indigenous knowledge. Joining the Commission became a natural step to take then.

  3. How did you become interested in protected areas, especially Biosphere Reserves?During my doctoral studies and my subsequent job as an academic researcher, I often faced the challenge of reconciling strong motivation for change with a legislative and societal landscape that was not facilitating change towards more sustainable and resilient agricultural practices and land uses. In many instances, agroecological transformations were hindered by a policy landscape that was not favorable, in particular where environmental aspects were disconnected from the socio-economic and cultural contexts. Additionally, we often still struggle to reconcile with the fact that complex systems and complex issues need integration of knowledge, and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches that contribute to learning. Areas that fall under specific denominations, like the Biosphere Reserves, are therefore the ideal setting to test new approaches and, more importantly, to bring together communities with different needs, wants, concerns; to build those bridges and connections that I saw so important several years back as a young veterinarian in Ecuador. Biosphere Reserves have the potential to become sites where system thinking, with all its intricacies and challenges, can become reality, and where agroecological principles can be pillars of sustainable and fair societies.

  4. What are your expectations as new leader of the Biosphere Reserves group?The Biosphere Reserve Thematic Group is slightly different from other thematic groups in that its work is based on territories, rather than research topics. The work of my predecessors has been brilliant and established strong foundations for the group. Now together with my co-lead, Esperanza Arnés Prieto, I would like to consolidate the structure of the group and its interactions with the other thematic groups. Biosphere Reserves are learning places where many of the topics and issues addressed by other groups come into play. Then, what can the Biosphere Reserves Thematic Group do for the other groups? How can we work together? I would like my contribution to help integrate the group better with the activities of the other groups, and provide a platform for knowledge exchange and networking that brings together cross-cutting issues and diverse disciplines.

David Loubser – Lead for the Islands Specialist Group Contact:

  1. Tell us a little about yourself My name is Dave Loubser, I’m a consultant ecologist based out of Wellington in New Zealand. I originally trained in South Africa as a Zoologist specializing in Avian EcoPhysiology, and then going on to study Spatial and Landscape Ecology at a post graduate level, with a focus on Conservation Planning. Much of my working career has focused on ecological issue relating to climate change, ranging from mapping and assessing carbon stocks in forests New Zealand to designing REDD+ projects in Kenya, Tanzania and the DRC, integrating climate change resilience approaches into protected area management in Kenya, South Sudan, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Niue and developing Integrated coastal management and ridge to reef projects across island nations in the Pacific. Most recently my focus has been on working to mainstream Nature-based Solutions across the Pacific region.

  2. What was your motivation to be part of the Commission? This is now my third cycle as being a member of CEM. I originally joined as a way to widen my professional network and interact with like-minded people. This remains an important driver, but it has evolved into how I can work with those like-minded people to help extend thinking around environmental management and support the next generation of environmental managers. Islands have often been under represented in IUCN Commissions, so I saw this as an opportunity to address this.

  3. How did you become interested in the study of islands? I started my career as a forest ecologist with an interest in island biogeography as it related to patches of fragmented forest. Living in New Zealand and subsequently in Vanuatu, the application of the lessons learned from my work in forestry across to fragmented land patches (islands) was not a big leap. I also have an interest in the socio ecological importance of Mangroves to coastal communities. Tropical islands often have an abundance of case studies addressing Mangroves and people.

  4. What are your expectations as the new leader of the Islands group? I have three major expectations or goals that I would like to achieve in the Island’s group: 1. Build the membership and representation of islands within CEM 2. Use the skills and experience within the group, and across the whole commission, to, where ever possible, provide support to island based Natural Resource Managers in order to help build capacity so as to enhance resilience across fragile Island ecosystems. 3. Encourage young up and coming island resource managers to become more involved with the Island’s group, ultimately to take on leadership roles within the group.

Adrian Lombard – Lead for the Ecosystem Management and Sustainable Use Thematic Group Contact:

In introducing myself, I am not a professional conservationist but am an active medical practitioner specializing in Family Medicine. That said, I am a passionate conservationist and have promoted conservation through sustainable use for over 30 years. I grew up in Zimbabwe, where I was able to spend much of my time in the bush. Peter Steyn, ornithologist, and author of the definitive “Birds of Prey of Southern Africa” was one of my teachers, for whom I spent many days searching out raptor nests and constructing hides for his photography. My time in veldt gave me an appreciation for the knowledge and skills of the indigenous people. My interests led me into falconry which has become a lifelong pursuit. At the time of my engagement with falconry, global populations of a range of raptors had collapsed because of pesticide poisoning. Falconers became engaged in a global effort to restore and monitor raptor populations. The interests of falconers, within conservation, are not limited to raptors but extend to quarry species and, integrally, to the ecosystems within which they occur. At that time, there was also a growing understanding, in Southern Africa, of the value in developing sustainable use as a means of restoring and managing game animal populations with consequent benefits to ecosystem restoration.

Growing up within this environment, it was logical for me to become involved in promoting the involvement of falconers in conservation. Through this, I have developed an appreciation that, where people can take ownership of and value a resource, they will conserve that resource.

I began involvement with the International Association for Falconry and the Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) in 2004. The IAF is a long-standing IUCN member is represented at most of the major Multinational Environmental Agreements. In 2013, I became President of the organization which now represents falconers in 90 countries, providing an incredibly diverse network of people who live in and are part of many local communities. They represent an opportunity to communicate with and influence people at a grass-roots level who may otherwise be very difficult to contact. Through contact in the IAF, I developed a friendship for Prof. Robert Kenward, who is the original Lead for the Ecosystem Management and Sustainable Use Group. (SUME) group. This was the start of a collaboration which has developed several conservation projects that involve the development of multilingual portals. These have the ability of provide information to encourage conservation at grass-roots level and which can be interactive, to facilitate communication and gather information. The first of these, representing a collaboration between IUCN/CEM/SUME, IAF, BirdLife International and CMS, is which sought, using local languages, to contact regional falconers and falcon-trappers and to establish a trusted communication, provide information and obtain local knowledge and opinion relating to saker falcons. We then went on to develop as a second collaboration involving SUME, IAF and the European Sustainable Use Group. This multilingual portal recognized the loss of small game, in particular the Grey Partridge, as indicators for environmental degradation and habitat loss, whilst providing information and guidance on restoration. The third collaboration represents the major project of SUME, , which seeks to disseminate information regarding the conservation of ecosystems and their sustainable use in local languages and aims to develop bottom-up pressure to promote conservation. The collaboration with falconers allowed access to many local translators. Further developments and collaborations are under consideration.

As Lead for SUME, my hope is to continue the invaluable work initiated by Robert Kenward and his team. My strengths lie with developing teamwork, communicating, and seeking opportunities. I shall rely on the advice and guidance of the talented and knowledgeable professional conservationists within the team and Robert Kenward remains as Special Advisor to the Group. We will have the opportunity to bring in younger and more diverse members. I have asked Keiya Nakajima from Japan to act as Co-lead. Keiya is a professional conservationist and previous IAF Vice-President for Asia. We will also be joined by Janusz Sielicki, past Vice-President of IAF for Europe and IAF Conservation Officer. Janusz has led the IAF work on conservation of the saker falcon and has been actively involved in restoring the tree-nesting peregrine falcons in Poland and Belarus. Julian Muehle will join us as Special Liaison. He is involved in the IAF Youth group and coordinates their translation teams. With the hope that the Covid pandemic will recede, there are some exciting and interesting opportunities ahead for SUME.

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International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) © 2022 The CEM Newsletter aims to keep IUCN CEM members, IUCN staff, and the wider IUCN network up-to-date with evosystem management news and announcements.

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