IUCN is delighted to receive a Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Distinguished Service Award for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Mike Hoffmann, Senior Scientist to IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) and Chair of the IUCN Red List Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the wider Red List community at the 27th International Congress on Conservation Biology (ICCB) held in Montpellier, France, on 2 August 2015.
The SCB Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals, groups or institutions for distinguished service in any field associated with conservation biology and whose work has furthered the SCB mission, which is to “advance the science and practice of conserving the Earth's biological diversity”.
In accepting the award, Hoffmann paid tribute to the early pioneers of the IUCN Red List, to those who conceived and developed the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, to the expert members of the SSC, to the contributions of the Red List Partner institutions*, and to the staff of the IUCN Red List Unit.
“It is a welcome recognition of the extraordinary dedication shown by many, many thousands of conservation professionals who volunteer their knowledge, their data, and their time to create such an incredible resource,” said Mike Hoffmann. “A resource that is used to inform some of the most important decisions that affect the future of biodiversity.”
This recognition is very timely, as last year marked the 50th anniversary of The IUCN Red List. The IUCN Red List has evolved considerably since its very early beginnings. More than just a list of species and their status, the IUCN Red List has become one of the world’s most powerful conservation tools, providing information and analyses on the status, trends and threats to species to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation. In the last decade alone, the number of species assessments on the IUCN Red List has trebled, including major groups such as amphibians, cacti, reef-building corals, sharks, and freshwater crabs. Further species groups are on the way, with a goal to assess a total of 160,000 species by 2020, all the while keeping current assessments up to date.
“It is fair to say that without the voluntary work of the IUCN Red List Committee and the many thousands of experts in the SSC Specialist Groups, effective species conservation would be impossible,” said Piero Visconti, President of SCB’s Europe section and Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 27th ICCB.
*The Red List Partnership comprises BirdLife International, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Conservation International, Microsoft, NatureServe, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Sapienza Universita di Roma, Texas A&M University, Wildscreen, and Zoological Society of London.