Introducing Rosie Cooney & SULi: the New CEESP-SSC Specialist Group on Sustainable use and Livelihoods

In recent months a new collaboration between CEESP and the Species Survival Commission has been taking shape. The SULi Specialist Group is a cross-Commissional Specialist Group focused on the sustainable use of wild living resources. CEESP members with expertise and experience on this issue are warmly invited to get in touch and engage in this.

The new CEESP-SSC Specialist Group at the recent SSC Chairs’ meeting in Abu Dhabi, CEESP Chair Aroha Mead, Chair Rosie Cooney, and SSC Chair Simon Stuart embrace the new collaboration.

Sustainable use of biodiversity is a critical area of work for IUCN for many reasons: to safeguard the resources underpinning community livelihoods; to promote equitable sharing of the benefits of use of biodiversity; to address widespread overexploitation; and as a tool to generate incentives for conservation. This new CEESP/SSC Specialist Group builds on the extensive previous work of the SSC’s Sustainable Use Specialist Group, and stems from a Resolution from the Barcelona WCC calling for cross-Commission collaboration on sustainable use.

Further engagement with other Commissions, particularly CEM, is envisaged for the future. Broadly, the work of the group will include highlighting the importance of wild species for providing community benefits; analysing and communicating best-practice in aspects of sustainable use; promoting innovation in adaptive responses to the challenges of SU; and developing practical tools and approaches to support sustainability and resilience in resource use. Key thematic areas of interest are likely to include food security, wild meat (bushmeat), coastal/artisanal fisheries, sustainable use/CBNRM and community empowerment; and engaging with key international fora such as the CBD and CITES on sustainable use and equitable benefit-sharing.

I am delighted to have been appointed Chair of the SULi Specialist Group, and have been working with colleagues in SSC and CEESP to establish the organisational structure and carry out initial planning. The recent SSC Chairs’ meeting held in Abu Dhabi in late February, attended by Aroha Mead, was a enormously valuable opportunity to meet Aroha and colleagues from around the world, better understand IUCN priorities and needs for work on SU, and bring together some key people from regional SUSG groupings to plan the way ahead. CEESP regional Vice-Chairs Iain Davidson-Hunt, Masego Madzwamuse and Vivienne Solis, and CEESP/SSC member Holly Dublin, are all involved in planning for this new initiative, and we would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in engaging in this work.

To contact Rosie for further information:


Work area: 
Social Policy
Wildlife trade
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