Story | 19 Apr, 2024

IUCN SSC's vision for biodiversity conservation in Oceania

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission’s (IUCN SSC) Regional Vice-Chair for Oceania, Ms. Nunia Thomas, delivered a presentation at the IUCN Oceania Regional Office earlier this week.

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Photo: IUCN Species Survival Commission's Regional Vice-Chair for Oceania, Ms. Nunia Thomas delivering her presentation at the IUCN Oceania Regional Office earlier this week © Shreeya Verma.

Emphasising the need for forward-thinking involvement in preserving local biodiversity, she highlighted key points aimed at advancing the conservation efforts in the region.

One of the main messages was on the importance of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) membership in Oceania, encouraging people to learn about the different species in their own backyards. Ms. Thomas mentioned how important it is for people in their area to know about the species that need help to survive. She talked about how indigenous people's traditional knowledge on species could help the experts.

During her address, she outlined several priority areas for action, including collaborative efforts with the IUCN Oceania Regional Office and the Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature. These key points encompassed:

  • Conducting an analysis of investments and species achievements
  • Reinvigorating discussions on national research priorities
  • Expanding the species portfolio within the regional office
  • Driving membership engagement through the Regional Species Forum
  • Advocating for the establishment of national species groups and committees
  • Promoting IUCN Red List literacy in Pacific Universities and among local species specialists
  • Exploring the creation of a Regional Red List
  • Highlighting the importance of culturally significant, yet locally uncommon species
  • Emphasizing the preservation of common tree species
  • Encouraging the authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles

With over 9,500 volunteer experts, the IUCN SSC work independently and with the different IUCN Units to build knowledge on the status of species and threats to them and to provide advice, develop policies and guidelines and facilitate conservation planning. Through this work, SSC catalyses conservation action and enables IUCN to influence policy and assist societies in biodiversity conservation.