Sustainable Use and Management of Ecosystems




Our mission in IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management is to explore how sustainable use can serve as a tool to manage and, where needed, restore ecosystems; to share that knowledge with ecosystem managers and policy makers.



Objectives are to pursue our mission by:

  • Identifying how sustainable use of renewable natural resources can contribute to management and restoration of ecosystems.
  • Identifying and promoting conservation advantages accruing to biodiversity from more effective ecosystem management.
  • Facilitating research and knowledge sharing that explores how sustainable use of renewable natural resources can foster more resilient ecosystems.





To maintain and restore ecosystems rapidly, in the face of development and climate change, requires direct exchange of knowledge with local communities and managers of land and species. For this purpose, multilingual web-portals have been built (e.g., These portal developments are signposted by a network for local communities. The long-term intention of the systems is to gain local knowledge, which needs to be integrated for central planning, in exchange for decision support that benefits ecosystems together with the biodiversity and livelihoods that depend on them.


As well as outreach to local communities through the internet, SUME seeks opportunities to inform policy on management to conserve ecosystems through sustainable use of their components. To this effect, members of SUME are working with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and we also encourage attention to the European Charters (see right column here) which make appropriate recommendations for governments as well as practitioners.

SUME Origins and Membership


The thematic group on Sustainable Use and Management of Ecosystems (SUME) was created by IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management in 2014. SUME activities are planned by a Steering Group of Continental Coordinators, supported by a network of Country Coordinators.


Steering Group Members are:

Prof Robert Kenward (Chair)

Dr Tetiana Gardashuk (Europe)

Dr Adrian Lombard (S & E Africa)

Dr Tatyana Bragina (C Asia)

Dr Keiya Nakajima (SE Asia)

Dr Brendan Moyle (Oceania)

Dr Scott Brainerd (N America)

Dr Marina Rosales (S America)

Dr Eduardo Arraut (S America)


Members of SUME had their first meeting in Vienna in June 2015. At the time of its second meeting, in September 2016 at the 6th World Conservation Congress of IUCN in Honolulu, SUME had 62 members across 37 countries. In May 2017 there are 380 in 90 countries and to complete the global remit for our work, enquiries are especially welcome from those who would like to become Country Coordinators from Africa, Oceania, the Americas and SouthEast Asia. Here are our main activities for 2017.




We cooperate for our internet activities with the European Sustainable Use Group, which supports IUCN’s specialist group for Sustainable Use and Livelihoods too. Development of the portals also depends on the Convention on Conservation of Migratory SpeciesInternational Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of PreyAnatrack Ltd and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in the UK.