The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems team is honoured to receive the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prize in the field of Scientific Research and Innovation: Environmental Research.
Australia’s top honours for science, the Eureka Prize rewards outstanding achievements in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Communication and Journalism, and – in recognition of promising potential future scientists – ‘School Science’.
The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is a global standard that identifies ecosystems at risk of collapse due to threats such as environmental degradation and climate change. The method provides an international benchmark for assessing the health and decline of our natural systems.
Already highlighting risks to terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems around the world, this method is laying the foundations for better strategies to avoid the collapse of threatened ecosystems worldwide.
The Red List of Ecosystems team was awarded for their work in developing the criteria that underpin the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, the first comprehensive and quantitative method for assessing risks to ecosystems.
“The Red List of Ecosystems is a powerful tool for scientists and policy makers around the globe,” said Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum. “International bodies are already looking at incorporating this system into their risk assessments.”
The methods underpinning Red List of Ecosystem assessments are a vital part of the scientific infrastructure needed to support evidence-based environmental management.
The initiative is led by an international team of researchers and implemented by IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management and Global Ecosystem Management Programme. Professor David Keith, from the University of New South Wales, accepted the award on behalf of the team.
"For the first time, we have a scientifically robust risk assessment framework, which works across the full range of terrestrial, freshwater, marine and subterranean ecosystems," Professor Keith explained.
"As an early warning system, the Red List of Ecosystems will help governments, industries and communities avoid ecosystem collapse and the associated socio-economic impacts by informing better environmental decisions."
Ultimately, better planning and management is needed to conserve our rich biodiversity and sustain the ecosystem services that support our own livelihoods and well-being.
For more information please contact:
Rebecca Miller, Programme Officer, IUCN Red List of Ecosystems [email protected]