Story | 23 Sep, 2020

IUCN mourns the loss of leading conservationist Georgina Mace

IUCN is deeply saddened by the passing of eminent conservationist Professor Dame Georgina Mace – a leader in the fight against global biodiversity loss, who made key contributions to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Union at large.

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Georgina Mace, at BBVA Foundation's headquarters.

Photo: Javi Martínez on

Georgina delivered many contributions to IUCN over the years, above all as the lead architect of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, which provide a science-based system of classifying species according to their risk of global extinction. Her work was instrumental in turning the IUCN Red List into the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of species.

Georgina also served as a Chair of the Red List Committee. She was a longstanding member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Steering Committee, in which role she was deeply involved in advancing scientific innovation for the Commission. This included, for example, supporting the development of the Red List Index as a global indicator of extinction risk, now used by the United Nations to track progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 15 and by many other institutions. She was also a key contributor to the development of methods for assessing climate change vulnerability for species, and a co-author of the Global Species Assessment.   

Our deepest condolences go out to Georgina’s family and her many friends and colleagues; you can find a tribute from Eleanor Jane Milner-Gulland and post personal tributes here