IUCN UK National Committee at work

07 November 2012 | Article

The IUCN National Committee in the United Kingdom (IUCN NCUK) represents a large partnership of 46 organizations (data as of October 2012) and is engaged in a number of varied activities for biodiversity conservation. 

The National Committee UK’s project ‘Putting Nature on The Map’ is about applying the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories to UK sites. After the latest IUCN guidelines on protected area management categories were published in 2008, IUCN National Committee of the UK has started a project to revise and expand the application of IUCN protected area categories in the UK and to improve coverage of UK protected areas on the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

A communications initiative, the UK Protected Area Categories Club (PACC) has been established to encourage and support protected area managers. The aim is to create a network to share information and experiences with fellow land managers.

Another important part of the work carried out by the IUCN Committee in the UK is the IUCN UK Peatland Programme. This Programme exists to promote peatland restoration in the UK and advocates the multiple benefits of peatlands through partnerships, strong science, sound policy and effective practice. The work of the Peatland Programme is overseen by a coalition of environmental bodies including the John Muir Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), North Pennines AONB Partnership, Moors for the Future and the University of East London. Among its successes are completing a Commission of Inquiry on peatlands, a number of well-attended conferences, briefings for MPs in the parliaments of the devolved administrations of the UK and, most recently, getting peatland mentioned in the IUCN Programme and adopted as a thematic group by the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management.

A National Ecological Networks conference will take place in Edinburgh next year, led by IUCN Member the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The National Ecological Networks Conference, hosted by the Scottish Wildlife Trust with assistance from the Scottish Government, will be held at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, between Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February 2013. The event aims to explore the theory, policy and practice of ecological networks and to provide an evidence base for future practical action and policy direction. During this major conference we will explore the policy drivers for ecological networks, investigate the science behind networks and ecosystem restoration, consider the goods and services that flow from healthy ecosystems, and give examples of green infrastructure initiatives from both the UK and Europe as a whole.