Piet Wit, The Netherlands

16 April 2012 | Article

Ecosystems represent the resource base for life on earth, our life. Nature determines the functioning of ecosystems, and depends on it. People make different uses of ecosystems, their products and their services. Since different uses may conflict, management is needed in order to ensure the flow of ecosystem products and services on which nature, including man, depends. If we want to make not only development sustainable, but also conservation itself, we will have to address the full range of ecosystems components, their users and the institutions managing our ecosystems. That is complicated, but doable.

In the recent past, CEM has made the Ecosystem Approach palatable for key-target groups like the private sector, economic planners and political decision-takers.

The Red List of Ecosystems that we are developing will provide a basis for land- and water use managers to set priorities for conservation and development, which a/o includes special attention to the conservation of more vulnerable ecosystems like oases and islands, and to ecosystem-restoration. 

Climate Change and Disasters can be more adequately addressed with Ecosystem Based Approaches to Adaptation, whereby resilience of the ecosystems themselves and the communities depending on them will be strengthened.

CEM can provide valuable expertise to IUCN, its Members and other partners. We will do so by promoting collaboration, in particular with the other Commissions of IUCN. 

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