Introducing SULi: the new CEESP-SSC Specialist Group on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods

In recent months a new collaboration between the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy and the Species Survival Commission has been taking shape. The Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, or SULi, is a cross-Commissional Specialist Group focused on the sustainable use of wild living resources.

The SULi Specialist Group is a joint initiative of CEESP and SSC: at the recent SSC Chairs’ meeting in Abu Dhabi, CEESP Chair Aroha Mead, SULi Chair Rosie Cooney, and SSC Chair Simon Stuart embrace the new collaboration. Photo: Monika Bohm.

Sustainable use (SU) 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 group builds on the extensive previous work of the SSC’s Sustainable Use Specialist Group, and stems from a Resolution from the Barcelona World Conservation Congress calling for cross-Commission collaboration on sustainable use. Further engagement with other Commissions, particularly IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management, 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.

Newly appointed Chair of SULi, Ms Rosie Cooney says “I am delighted to have been appointed Chair of SULi, 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, was a enormously valuable opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world, including Bernard O’Callaghan and Helen Pippard from the Oceania office, 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. Oceania, and the Pacific in particular, is an area where we need to build our expertise and understanding, so we would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in engaging in this work".

For more information contact Rosie Cooney,


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