The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an
international organisation with a thematic programme dedicated to ensuring
sustainable use of biodiversity (IUCN Species Programme), with particular
expertise on freshwater biodiversity. One of the best-known products of the
programme is the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM which is
internationally recognised as the most authoritative measure of the threatened
status of species.
The Red List Index has been adopted by CBD as one of the key indicators of change for biodiversity. The programme draws on the expertise of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) - the world’s most extensive network of biodiversity experts with over 7,000 members in 100 Specialist Groups and Task Forces. Major objectives of the Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit include assessing the status, distribution and economic/livelihood values of freshwater biodiversity globally, and the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas for species conservation. The IUCN/SSC Species Information Service (SIS) includes a database on the status (IUCN Red List), ecology and distribution (GIS maps) of the world’s species. Comprehensive freshwater biodiversity assessments have been completed in many countries, particularly in Africa, Asia and Europe.
William Darwall (PhD, m) has over 20 years experience working on and leading collaborative research projects on the ecology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems in developing countries. He is currently Head of the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit. The main focus of his work includes implementation of large-scale biodiversity assessments of freshwater systems, including assessment of species threatened status for the IUCN Red List. Dr Darwall currently manages a five year EC funded project “Integration of freshwater biodiversity in the development process throughout Africa: mobilising information and site demonstrations”, and a Darwin Initiative project “Strengthening pro-poor wetland conservation using integrated biodiversity and livelihood assessment” operating in SE Asia and E Africa.
Caroline Pollock (MSc, f) and Craig Hilton-Taylor (MSc, m) make up the core of the IUCN Red List Unit with many years experience in the application and development of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. They manage the Red List database and the annual analyses.
Kevin Smith (MSc, m) and David Allen (MSc, m) are programme officers within the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit with expertise in the management and analysis, in particular using GIS, of large biodiversity datasets for freshwater ecosystems.
Wendy Foden (MSc, f) is a programme officer within the IUCN Species Programme working on species life history traits associated with vulnerability to climate change. She is coordinator of the project “Species Response to Climate Change” (funded by the MacArthur Foundation). She was previously a research scientist for the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation Research Group within the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town where her work focused on modelling the effects of climate change on plant distributions.