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IUCN Adopts New “Green List” to Show Species On the Path to Con­ser­va­tion Success

pub­lished 29 Sep­tem­ber 2012 | mod­i­fied 29 Sep­tem­ber 2012

The Inter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Nature (IUCN) World Con­ser­va­tion Con­gress has adopted a motion spon­sored by the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety and part­ners to cre­ate a Green List to assess con­ser­va­tion suc­cess. The Green List for Species would include species iden­ti­fied as ‘fully con­served’, which are those that exist in eco­log­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant num­bers, inter­act­ing fully with other species in their ecosystems.

Canada Geese pondThe motion to develop objec­tive cri­te­ria for a green list of species, ecosys­tems and pro­tected areas was adopted at the World Con­ser­va­tion Con­gress, which was held this month in Jeju, Repub­lic of Korea.

The aim of the Green List is to high­light species that are thriv­ing parts of a healthy ecosys­tem and will empha­sise that con­ser­va­tion is about more than just pre­vent­ing extinction.

The Green List rep­re­sents a pos­i­tive vision for con­ser­va­tion in the future. It is a roadmap for species to fol­low on the way to full con­ser­va­tion recovery
Dr. Eliz­a­beth Ben­nett, WCS Vice Pres­i­dent of Species Conservation »

“Suc­cess­ful species con­ser­va­tion involves the con­ser­va­tion of a species with sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tions, inter­act­ing fully with a com­plete suite of other native species and processes,” said WCS Pres­i­dent and CEO Dr. Cristián Sam­per. “The con­ser­va­tion com­mu­nity should be giv­ing to the world a pos­i­tive and proac­tive vision of suc­cess: species at or near their nat­ural car­ry­ing capac­ity, as inte­gral parts of fully func­tional ecosys­tems. The Green List will be a step in that direction.”

The Green List will com­ple­ment the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species, which focuses on avoid­ance of extinc­tion and the novel Red List of Ecosys­tems of which the motion for devel­op­ment also was adopted in Jeju. The species’ Red List has been crit­i­cal in assess­ing con­ser­va­tion pri­ori­ti­sa­tion and has been a scientifically-​rigorous tool highly regarded by gov­ern­ments and other con­ser­va­tion actors. To cre­ate the Green List to reach the same level of effec­tive­ness, the motion rec­om­mends that IUCN con­ducts an inter­na­tional sci­en­tific con­sul­ta­tion process to develop con­sen­sus and rig­or­ous criteria.

Dr. Simon Stu­art, Chair of IUCN’s Species Sur­vival Com­mis­sion, said: “The Green List process is about opti­mism and suc­cess. It will incen­tivise con­ser­va­tion action and encour­age invest­ment in pro­grams and poli­cies that enhance and mea­sure con­ser­va­tion suc­cess and man­age­ment effectiveness.”

The Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety saves wildlife and wild places world­wide. They do so through sci­ence, global con­ser­va­tion, edu­ca­tion and the man­age­ment of the world’s largest sys­tem of urban wildlife parks, led by the flag­ship Bronx Zoo. Together these activ­i­ties change atti­tudes towards nature and help peo­ple imag­ine wildlife and humans liv­ing in har­mony. WCS is com­mit­ted to this mis­sion because it is essen­tial to the integrity of life on Earth.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at WCS. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length.

(Source: WCS press release, 27.09.2012)

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