Task Forces

Task Forces are established from time to time by the SSC Chair in consultation with the SSC Steering Committee. Task Forces are mandated with a specific duty, usually in a specified time period. In the 2013-2016 Quadrennium, three SSC Task Forces have been established:

SSC and WCPA joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas

The Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas addresses the many issues which sit on the interface between species conservation and protected area conservation, and was dually convened by the Chairs of the Species Survival Commission and the World Commission on Protected Areas on 26 Sep 2009. The Joint Task Force has two objectives for the current quadrennium. The first is to conduct a meta-study of the determinants which increase the likelihood of protected areas delivering biodiversity outcomes, with a long-term view of establishing a process to maintain the data necessary to evaluate this question iteratively. The second is to convene a scientific stakeholder process to consolidate the standards and criteria for the identification of key biodiversity areas as sites of global biodiversity conservation significance and requiring the establishment of site-scale safeguards.

Membership of the Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas is managed through GoogleGroups.

Co-Chairs: Penny Langhammer and Stephen Woodley


IUCN SSC Task Force on Human-Wildlife Confict


Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) arises when animals pose a direct threat to the livelihood or safety of people and this results in persecution of that species. HWC affects most large carnivores, elephants, pigs, deer, primates, sharks, seals, birds of prey, crocodiles, rhinos, otters, and many other taxa. The conservation of conflict-prone species must handle not only acute conflicts but also be able to anticipate and manage emerging conflicts in order to ensure sustainable success.

Human-wildlife conflict often severely impacts the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the people of whom we ask support for wider conservation goals. There are immense challenges in addressing HWC around the world, in particular because the underlying cultural, political and economic aspects that shape these conflicts at their roots are often very complex and poorly understood. 


The Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict has been established with the main aim of supporting the IUCN SSC network in addressing human-wildlife conflict by providing interdisciplinary guidance and expert support, through an integration of ecological and social sciences.

1) Act as an authoritative advisory body on matters of human-wildlife conflict, that can provide expert advice and a platform for the exchange of best practice;
2) Facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to human-wildlife conflict mitigation by assisting and encouraging the collaboration of experts from biological as well as social sciences, economics, humanities and other fields;
2) Build capacity to support the SSC network by developing technical or framework guidance materials, tools and training as needed by those in the SSC network working on human-wildlife conflict issues.

Chair: Alexandra Zimmerman

The Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict was formally established on 1st March, 2016.  It is currrenly in the process of assembling its members and a list will be provided in due course.



Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force

The creation of the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force (MMPATF) was formally announced on 24 October 2013 by Dan Laffoley, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara on behalf of the Species Survival Commission (SSC), and Naomi McIntosh, International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA). The MMPATF objectives and further activities were described by the Task Force co-chairs, Erich Hoyt and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara.

Following two global conferences (Hawaii, 2009; and Martinique, 2011) hosted by the ICMMPA, the Task Force was developed through the WCPA, the SSC and the ICMMPA to give a stronger voice to marine mammal needs within IUCN and to serve the larger marine mammal protected area community of practice.

Objectives of the new Task Force include a) facilitating mechanisms by which this “community of practice” can collaborate, share information and experience, access and disseminate knowledge and tools for establishing, monitoring, and managing marine mammal protected areas (MMPA) and promote effective spatial solutions and best practices for marine mammal conservation; b) bolstering capacity within the MMPA community by exposing it to state-of-the-art tools from the wider MPA and place-based conservation world; c) enabling the implementation of global MPA targets and agreements; and d) enhancing opportunities for cooperation, communication, exposure of related products and expertise to a far wider audience.

Task Force products and activities will likely include: publications, guidelines, best-practice guidance (e.g., in the Protected Planet series); consolidation and coordination of the global community of practice; outreach (conference presentations, workshops, website, social networks); application of new technologies (e.g., Google tools); provision of information on activities to WCPA – Marine and to SSC, and for protected area news in and outside of IUCN, as appropriate, on a regular basis; supporting pursuance of WCPA, SSC and IUCN goals where appropriate; and supporting relevant resolution drafting and World Park Congress planning and participation.

Mission Statement: Download here
Co-ChairErich Hoyt
Co-Chair: Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

SSC and CEM joint Task Force on Systemic Pesticides

Chair: Maarten Bijleveld 
Contact: SSCChairOffice@iucn.org and enquiries.tfsp@gmail.com


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