First Joint Training Workshop on Species and Ecosystems Red Lists – Abu Dhabi Emirate
The first ever joint IUCN training workshop on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) and IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (RLTS) was held on February 11th – 15th in Abu Dhabi for members of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The workshop was organized by EAD, IUCN’s Species Survival Commission and Commission on Ecosystem Management, and Provita, as part of a long-term project which aims to complete regional Red Lists of threatened species and Ecosystems for the Abu Dhabi Emirate within the next couple of years.
The event included presentations by experts working on species and ecosystem risk assessment and conservation of nature within the RLTS and RLE frameworks. These presentations were followed by practical exercises and local assessments which provided the 27 attending participants with the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns with all trainers. Chief among these concerns was the need to reinforce how to correctly apply the IUCN categories and criteria (mainly for species assessments), which was addressed during the event through the country, desert region, and species-specific risk assessment exercises. Though the results are subject to change in future versions of Abu Dhabi Emirate products, workshop participants managed to both thoroughly assess 14 Abu Dhabi species and develop a preliminary definition for its terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The very intensive but productive gathering allowed for a better understanding of both what has been achieved and the work that remains to be done. During 2018, the Abu Dhabi team will be focussed on assessing all Abu Dhabi Emirate species through multiple rounds of review and feedback (with guidelines for quickly assessing LC and DD species, provided by RLTS) and developing an ecosystem typology for the Emirate. Both the RLE and RLTS teams look forward to continuing accompanying the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi along this path.
Overall, this five-day event was highly regarded by both participants and trainers. By focussing simultaneously on species and ecosystems, it was possible to better reflect the status of the Emirate’s biodiversity and acknowledge the existing linkages between RLE and RLTS, as well as to improve cost-effectiveness. We hope that this successful experience will contribute to the establishment of a transdisciplinary framework for the successful application of both IUCN key products and further contribute to global efforts to maintain and improve the knowledge on extinction and collapse risk assessments.
For more details about the workshop´s agenda click here.