The third IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Leaders’ Meeting kicked off today in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This meeting brings together over 300 conservationists with diverse expertise to address how global conservation efforts can be improved to halt the alarming rate of biodiversity loss.
Supported by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), the 2015 Leaders’ Meeting will run from 15-18 September. The IUCN Species Survival Commission is the largest of IUCN’s Commissions, with over 10,000 expert members from almost every country. With over 140 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, Sub-Committees and Task Forces specializing on diverse groups of animals, plants, and fungi, as well as on a range of topical conservation issues, the work of the SSC is central to the core mission and conservation goals of IUCN as a whole.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) for supporting this meeting,” said SSC Chair Simon Stuart. “The congregation of this many wildlife experts provides an invaluable opportunity to share expertise and to work together to develop ambitious plans in our continued fight against the global extinction crisis.”
The meeting provides a platform for the leadership of the SSC to share knowledge and experience; to assess the effectiveness of the SSC’s actions on biodiversity conservation and consider how this can be increased; and to develop major new initiatives to address critical conservation issues. There will also be an opportunity for the SSC to prepare its own input into the planning of the 2017-2020 IUCN Programme, which will include the 2017-2020 IUCN Species Strategic Plan.
“The migratory nature of many of the species that we are striving to protect, and the global nature of the environmental challenges that we are trying to combat indicate that knowledge-sharing and following best practices are critical ingredients for success,” said EAD Secretary General H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak who opened the meeting.
The SSC is the driving force behind The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, providing data and analyses on more than 77,000 species to inform conservation action.
“The IUCN Species Survival Commission is a strong collective force, bringing the knowledge and energy that is needed to address the pressures that our environment is under,” said IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “The broader conservation community rely on this powerful science-based knowledge to move forward the conservation agenda.”