Dr. Cooney has eighteen years of experience working across the interface of research, policy and practice in governance, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, using a transdisciplinary perspective integrating insights from diverse disciplines and stakeholders.
Dr. Cooney leads the work (until December 2018) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, a joint initiative of the Species Survival Commission and the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. This is a global network of over 300 leading experts in the sustainable use of wild resources and its contribution to livelihoods, focused on building and synthesising knowledge, developing authoritative guidance, and influencing practice and policy. She has worked for a number of leading international conservation organisations in collaboration with colleagues across the globe; acted as an independent consultant to governments, NGOs and the private sector; and carried out research and teaching at two leading Australian universities.
Her particular areas of expertise and interest are sustainable use of wild species; poaching and illegal wildlife trade; wildlife trade and CITES; biodiversity governance models; aligning rights and incentives in policy design for sustainability; indigenous and local community rights and livelihoods and their intersection with biodiversity conservation; institutions for management of common property resources; conservation conflicts; and dealing with uncertainty and the precautionary principle. She holds or has recently held a number of leadership positions at international level providing insight and advice or coordinating policy interventions and action on these issues.