From coral reefs to rain forests, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is establishing a Red List of Ecosystems.The group is well known for its Red List of endangered species, from gorillas to candy cane ginger. Now it is working to list entire ecoystems under threat.
This new list of ecosystems, discussed at IUCN's recent congress in Jeju, Korea, will assess the status of ecosystems worldwide, identifying risks and the potential impact on both ecosystems and human wellbeing.
The IUCN is the world's oldest and arguably most important conservation organization.
Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management’s Ecosystem Red List Thematic Group, said the new list of ecosystems will provide a global standard for assessing the status of ecosystems; assess if an ecosystem is vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered; and inform about the threats to environmental services like fresh water that these ecosystems provide.
IUCN is now assessing the status of ecosystems in three countries, including in Miyun county of China, Rodriguez said.
The Red List of Ecosystems is modeled on the Red List of threatened species.