The IUCN global assessments: partnerships, collaboration and data sharing for biodiversity science and policy
biodiversity, conservation funding, data sharing, GEF, IUCN, partnerships, policy
The development of standards, data sharing, and initiatives like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and others have advanced research in many fields, including in conservation of biodiversity. Global assessments of extinction risk to species have been completed by IUCN for multiple taxa. The IUCN global assessments have had a major impact on conservation science and practice as well as biodiversity funding mechanisms though the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). A signature of the assessments is a process of sustained interaction between conservation organizations and the research and academic community, effectively integrating science and policy on global scale. The model relies on several critical components: openness of the conservation community to scientific input and debate, engagement of the scientific community, conservation organization mediated data collation, and data sharing with ease of access. This model can be applied to other challenges to conserve biodiversity and assess how biodiversity loss affects the well-being of societies across the world. The recognition of the importance of biodiversity in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the recognition of the failure to meet the 2010 Biodiversity Target illustrate the gap between what needs to be achieved and our current trajectory.