Species and ecosystem conservation: streamlining planning, management, and assessment of progress

Biodiversity loss has accelerated since the CBD was adopted in 1993. Species and ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate. Increasingly, they depend on continuing management for their survival. If we are to avoid mass extinctions, and dangerous consequences from degradation and loss of natural ecosystems, we must focus on arresting loss, and bringing about the recovery of biodiversity. Experience within the SSC has shown that, in addition to area-based approaches, planning for the conservation of individual or small groups of species is essential. Plans should be integrated for all populations of a species, whether they are in the wild, intensively managed parks and reserves, or zoos under a One Plan Approach, managing as an open metapopulation for demographic and genetic stability and long-term viability. Critical aspects of effective planning are sound knowledge, correct participation and rigorous thinking, sensitive facilitation, actions with accountabilities, monitoring and adaptive management. The SSC is rolling out its approach across its Specialist Groups and with partners for species under very diverse situations and conditions. The workshop will provide examples of such SSC and One Plan approaches, inviting audience participation and feedback. The ultimate aim is not only to avoid extinctions, but to bring about full recovery of species and ecosystems. In addition to sound planning and implementation, this involves appropriate monitoring of progress. Therefore, the workshop also proposes expanding the Red List concept by extending the current category of Least Concern to a Green List that would recognize both preventive and proactive conservation successes on a spectrum culminating in full ecological recovery. Species and ecosystems would be "green-listed" by IUCN and its partners at a global level, and countries at a national level, complementing their current Red List programs.

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