Commission on Ecosystem Management

North America

The boreal landscape near Kasabonika Lake, Ontario, Canada

Regional Chair : John Waugh
CEM Steering Committee Focal PointLiette Vasseur

States of the Region

Canada - United States of America

Regional Objectives

CEM North America aims to promote knowledge about sustainable management of ecosystems by building collaborations with scientists, academia, NGOs, community-based organizations, ministries and the private sector in the region.  In support of the Hawai'i Commitments adopted at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, the goal is to cultivate and strengthen a ‘culture of conservation’ in the region that focuses on IUCN’s work for nature-based solutions as the basis for managing resilient ecosystems.

These solutions involve experiences from natural and transformed ecosystems; linkages between agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, and coastal ecosystems; sustainable ecosystem approaches to climate change as well as natural and human-made disasters; and socioeconomic knowledge across broad cultures about land management and protected areas. The management of resilient ecosystems includes synergies with governance, regional and global policies, and community stakeholders to enhance biodiversity, its services, human well-being, health, livelihoods and food security.

Platforms for Dialogue: 2017-2020

The CEM regional program convenes opportunities for dialogue for local partners, members and stakeholders about ecosystem management issues related to the region.  Its workshop on renewable energy at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawai'i brought together participants from U.S. islands in the Pacific and from Caribbean islands.

For 2017-2020, CEM will continue to convene platforms for dialogue with partners in the region. Its objective is  to develop collaborations with other regional IUCN Commissions including the Commission on Environment, Economics, and Social Policy (CEESP); the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL); the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA);  and Species Specialist Groups focused on ecosystem issues related to this region, such as the Polar Bear Specialist Group working in the Arctic. Of particular interest during this period will be developing programs that incorporate participation from indigenous communities working on regional land management issues, agroecosystems on the North American mainland, and regional coastal management issues, including on its islands.  We seek expressions of interest from organizations wishing to collaborate with us. 

Red List of Ecosystems & Ecosystem Governance

A goal for 2017-20 is to expand risk assessments by the Red List of Ecosystems beyond the three already conducted in this region—two in the U.S. and one in the Caribbean--working with IUCN local secretariats, academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations.  Particular priority is placed on promoting ecosystem assessments in North America’s Arctic, including its marine and terrestrial ecosystems threatened by climate change.  The regional CEM program will also work to strengthen actions oriented to ecosystem governance, continuing support of global initiatives such as the World Forum on Ecosystem Governance and exploring possibilities for similar regional forums.

Icebergs in Greenland


The region maintains a public Facebook page with regional ecosystem news and updated information about our activities as well as a members-only Linked In page. Quarterly regional newsletters with news and opportunities are emailed to CEM members in North America. Please visit us.  

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