Commission on Ecosystem Management

Southern and East Africa

Wattled cranes and sheep in Karkloof

CEM Southern and East Africa Regional Chair: Ian Little

CEM Steering Committee Focal Point: Birguy Lamizana

States and Territories of the Region

Angola - Botswana - Burundi - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - Ethiopia - Kenya - Lesotho - Madagascar - Malawi - Mauritius - Mayotte, France - Mozambique - Namibia - Reunion, France - Rwanda - Seychelles - Somalia - South Africa - South Sudan - Swaziland - Tanzania - Uganda - Zambia - Zimbabwe

The region is made of twenty countries and territories and is dominated by a mixture of savanna, thicket, woodland, shrubland, grassland, semi-desert and desert biomes and has scattered forests along the western edge and in the mountainous areas. Large lake systems also occur along the rift valley. The region also includes seven of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots.

Our Mission 

To support the mission of the CEM which is to “provide expert guidance on integrated approaches to the management of natural and modified ecosystems to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development”, and to establish a functional and cooperative team of expert members to catalyze conservation action in the region.

The Objectives within this CEM region are to:

  • Encourage representation by regional members on existing specialist groups, task forces or thematic groups.
  • Explore what potential new specialist groups, task forces or thematic groups might be applicable to or develop from the expertise and needs of the region (such as a regional forest conservation group).
  • Strengthen alignment and collaboration 
  • Establish communication tools for the management of large scale disturbances such as fire or drought.
  • Promote and support the maintenance of healthy and resilient ecosystems as a tool for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods enhancement, and sustainable development.
  • Develop and disseminate best practice guidelines for the management of priority habitats.
  • Communication, education, participation, and public awareness of ecosystem services and values.
  • Recruit at least 30 new members in the first 12 months and at least ten per year going forward from there.
  • Share lessons learnt within similar habitat types across the region through strategic communication and networking.
  • Identify member specialist skills and areas of expertise in order to establish and encourage intra- and inter-country lesson sharing opportunities.
  • Connect existing national and international conservation structures such as species working groups and initiatives.
  • Co-ordinate and assist with the development of red lists for ecosystems across the region. Including capacity sharing and dissemination.
  • Encourage and assist with the assessment of Management Effectiveness in Protected Areas in each of the countries across the region.
  • Assist with the identification of national KBAs across the region.
  • Establish and build on strategic partnerships with existing national and international conservation agencies, the IUCN secretariat and other commissions.
  • Support strategic research towards the sustainable management and prevention of degradation of intact natural systems in the region.
  • Identify the priority threats to threatened habitats in the region and initiate the implementation of strategic conservation actions in collaboration with relevant partner networks.
  • Mobilizing strategic funding to enable conservation action across the region and especially in low income, capacity starved countries. 

Collaborations/Partnerships to help achieve the objectives for this region:


Grassland Ecosystem Guidelines : Landscape interpretation for planners and managers
Grazing and Burning Guidelines : Managing grasslands for Biodiversity and Livestock Production Poster
Mining and Biodiversity Guideline

Go to top