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-Chair: Penny Langhammer
Contact: +1-202-321-9167; email@example.com
Co-Chair: Stephen Woodley
Contact: +1 819 921 4902; firstname.lastname@example.org
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-Chair: Erich Hoyt
Co-Chair: Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
SSC and CEM joint Task Force on Systemic Pesticides
In March 2011, an international task force was set up under the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the Commission on Ecosystem Management to bring together the scientific evidence needed to underpin action on neonicotinoid pesticides, the most prominent of the systemic pesticides currently used to "protect" more than 140 different crops and sold in 120 countries. Neonicotinoid pesticides have rapidly grown to become the most widely used group of insecticides globally, with a marketshare of 25%. Suspected by some scientists of being the cause of the worldwide decline of honey bees and wild pollinators, neonicotinoids are a set of nicotine-based systemic insecticides, differing from conventional spray products in that they also can be used as either seed dressings or as soil treatments and as a result they are dispersed into plant tissues, as well as washed into aquatic habitats through runoff. Their high persistency in soil and water results in a sustained (chronic) exposure of non-target organisms such as invertebrates to harmful concentrations. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins that act on invertebrates’ information processing by affecting a specific neural pathway that is more common in invertebrates than other animal groups, making them popular very broad spectrum insecticides.
The objectives of the task force are to: 1) review and present the scientific evidence of the impact of neonicotinoid and other systemic pesticides on the environment; 2) devise a better risk assessment protocol for government approval of new pesticides; 3) propose alternatives in the event that systemic pesticides are shown to have serious adverse effects on the environment; 4) launch a global information and publicity campaign once evidence and information are available; and 5) engage politicians to change policies and inadequate risk assessments, if the scientific evidence evidences a requirement that such changes be made. The Task Force meets biannually and is directed by a Steering Committee including SSC and CEM Chairs.
Chair: Maarten Bijleveld email@example.com
Jeroen van der Sluijs firstname.lastname@example.org