IUCN Red List methodologies for Species and for Ecosystems are currently being evaluated as suitable strategies to preserve forests, birds and vascular plants in Tunisia, with the support of IUCN-Med’s team.
Last week, two different groups of national and international conservation experts gathered in Tunisia to study the creation of a Red List of Threatened Species and another Red List of Ecosystems. Both of these events allowed to establish common frameworks and a roadmap, based on a joint initiative of the Tunisian administrations and IUCN-Med.
During the first meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture at the Directorate-General for Forestry (DGF), the panel of experts focused on finding a common definition of ecosystem units. The outcome of this session will be a first assessment, which is expected to be ready by next October. In alignment with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems is a global standard for assessing the status of ecosystems at local, national, regional and global levels. Assessments determine whether an ecosystem is facing imminent risk of collapse and assign risk categories (vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered). These evaluations are measured based on the pathways leading to ecosystem collapse, which can include assessments of losses in the area or degradation of ecosystem function.
The second event, hosted at the Ministry of Environment and supported by IUCN’s Tunisian Committee, aimed to launch a national Red List of Species starting with two taxonomic groups, i.e. vascular plants and birds. As a part of the National Biodiversity Strategy 2018-2030 agenda in Tunisia, this meeting welcomed 35 representatives from NGOs, universities and the public administration.
IUCN ensured the presence of the Red List Authority from the SSC Mediterranean Plant Specialist Group and offered a detailed explanation of the process for setting up a national Red List of Species. Capacity building needs, experts to be involved and resulting products were some of the further aspects discussed during the event.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is an internationally recognised inventory of global species conservation status, which provides a standard and repeatable method for assessing the extinction risk of species, also drawing attention to biodiversity loss around the world. National Red Lists of Species provide countries with key information about species status within their borders, which can be used directly for national conservation and planning policies supporting effective protection of biodiversity
Most importantly, National Red Lists of Species can be used to assist nations in measuring progress towards international convention commitments as, for example, the 2020 Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
For further information: Marcos Valderrábano and Violeta Barrios