Did you know that the Canadian Species Initiative (CSI) is a Regional Resource Center (RRC) for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG)? Woah – that is a lot of acronyms! Let’s break this down:

First, a reminder of what the Canadian Species Initiative (CSI) is. CSI is a partnership between Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC) and the African Lion Safari (ALS), with the goal of strengthening species conservation planning in Canada to be more inclusive and holistic. We promote the One Plan Approach which considers all management options for conserving a species – both in situ in the wild, and ex situ. Ex situ management refers to the care of populations outside of their natural range, with some level of controlled environment (i.e., zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, biobanks, etc.).

Next, what is the Species Survival Commission (SSC)? Well, the SSC is a global network of over 10,500 volunteer experts, working collaboratively to build knowledge on the status of and threats to species at risk. They support the development of policies and guidelines that complement species conservation planning. Additionally, they guide efforts for conserving biodiversity through three essential components: (1) Assess; (2) Plan; and (3) Act.

  1. The assessment component is composed of understanding the conservation status and trends of biodiversity.
  2. The planning component brings together all relevant stakeholders and knowledge to develop an effective species recovery program to address the status and threats uncovered in the assessment component.
  3. Finally, the acting component convenes and mobilizes the conservation actions identified in the planning component.

The planning component of this cycle is led by the SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG). The goal of this group is to develop and facilitate collaborative, inclusive, and science-based conservation strategies, plans, and policies. The group was formed in 1979 to act as a liaison between academia, field conservationists, and the zoo community.

Finally, what is a CPSG Regional Resource Center (RRC)? An RRC is an organization that takes the tools and techniques of CPSG and applies them to local species conservation planning, adapting them to the unique context of the region (i.e. environment, culture and social systems, economic conditions, policy and governance, philosophy etc).

Did you know that CSI is one of eleven global RRC’s? See the map below! With this responsibility, CSI joins a growing network of facilitators trained in globally recognized species conservation planning workshop processes that apply the One Plan Approach (OPA), and tailoring these to the needs of Canadian species.

Jaclyn Franceschini

Species Conservation Planning Assistant – Canadian Species Initiative

Jaclyn’s interest in conservation biology began with a love of the outdoors. She has spent the last few years studying freshwater and marine environments and is passionate about fish ecology. She has worked on projects studying freshwater fish (including yellow perch, northern pike, walleye, and round gobies), as well as marine species (swordfish, bluefin tuna, and common dolphins). She recently joined WPC’s Canadian Species Initiative as the Species Conservation Planning Assistant.