Task Forces are established from time to time by the SSC Chair in consultation with the SSC Steering Committee. Task Forces are mandated with a specific duty, usually in a specified time period. In the 2013-2016 Quadrennium, two SSC Task Forces have been established:
SSC and WCPA joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas
The Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas addresses the many issues which sit on the interface between species conservation and protected area conservation, and was dually convened by the Chairs of the Species Survival Commission and the World Commission on Protected Areas on 26 Sep 2009. The Joint Task Force has two objectives for the current quadrennium. The first is to conduct a meta-study of the determinants which increase the likelihood of protected areas delivering biodiversity outcomes, with a long-term view of establishing a process to maintain the data necessary to evaluate this question iteratively. The second is to convene a scientific stakeholder process to consolidate the standards and criteria for the identification of key biodiversity areas as sites of global biodiversity conservation significance and requiring the establishment of site-scale safeguards.
Profile: Download here
Membership of the Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas is managed through GoogleGroups.
Co-Chair: Tom Brooks
Contact: +1 703 908 1889 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Chair: Stephen Woodley
Contact: +1 819 994 2446 ; email@example.com
SSC and CEM joint Task Force on Systemic Pesticides
In March 2011, an international task force was set up under the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the Commission on Ecosystem Management to bring together the scientific evidence needed to underpin action on neonicotinoid pesticides, the most prominent of the systemic pesticides currently used to "protect" more than 140 different crops and sold in 120 countries. Neonicotinoid pesticides have rapidly grown to become the most widely used group of insecticides globally, with a marketshare of 25%. Suspected by some scientists of being the cause of the worldwide decline of honey bees and wild pollinators, neonicotinoids are a set of nicotine-based systemic insecticides, differing from conventional spray products in that they also can be used as either seed dressings or as soil treatments and as a result they are dispersed into plant tissues, as well as washed into aquatic habitats through runoff. Their high persistency in soil and water results in a sustained (chronic) exposure of non-target organisms such as invertebrates to harmful concentrations. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins that act on invertebrates’ information processing by affecting a specific neural pathway that is more common in invertebrates than other animal groups, making them popular very broad spectrum insecticides.
The objectives of the task force are to: 1) review and present the scientific evidence of the impact of neonicotinoid and other systemic pesticides on the environment; 2) devise a better risk assessment protocol for government approval of new pesticides; 3) propose alternatives in the event that systemic pesticides are shown to have serious adverse effects on the environment; 4) launch a global information and publicity campaign once evidence and information are available; and 5) engage politicians to change policies and inadequate risk assessments, if the scientific evidence evidences a requirement that such changes be made. The Task Force meets biannually and is directed by a Steering Committee including SSC and CEM Chairs.
Jeroen van der Sluijs firstname.lastname@example.org
Maarten Bijleveld email@example.com