Dr Rosie Cooney

Dr Rosie Cooney

Dr Rosie Cooney

Visiting Fellow

Contact details

Phone: 0404 979 838
Email: rosie.cooney@unsw.edu.au


Off campus.


Rosie Cooney's work focused on biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, particularly with respect to sustainable use of wild resources. She holds degrees in zoology and environmental law and has fifteen years experience in international and national policy research, analysis and development. She leads the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, a global network of almost 300 leading experts in sustainable use of wild resources and its contribution to livelihoods, which is focused on generating and synthesising knowledge, developing guidance, and influencing practice and policy, and is a member of the inaugural United Nations Secretary-General's Science Advisory Board. She is a Lead Author on the IPBES (Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment and Sustainable Use Assessment. She has worked for 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 work focuses strongly on seeking approaches that both meet human needs and conserve biodiversity. Particular areas of expertise are sustainable use of wildlife; people, institutions and incentives in conservation and sustainable use; international trade in wild resources; uncertainty and the precautionary principle; and global environmental governance. Key skills include scientific and policy analysis and synthesis, negotiation and development of policy on complex topics with diverse stakeholders, bridging the science-policy gap, encouraging and fostering debate, and communication across diverse audiences. Rosie holds first class Honours degrees in Zoology and in Law from the Australian National University, and a PhD in Zoology from Cambridge. 

  • Dr Rosie Cooney
  • Dr Rosie Cooney

Expertise and Research Interests

  • Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Wildlife trade and local livelihoods
  • International wildlife crime
  • Hunting
  • Conservation and local livelihoods
  • Sustainable use of wild resources, conservation and livelihoods
  • Indigenous and local participation in conservation and resource management
  • Integrating Indigenous and Local Knowledge and science in wild resource management
  • Kangaroo management in Australia
  • Incentive-based approaches to conservation
  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
  • International environmental governance

Reports and Briefing Papers

Roe D, Biggs D, Cooney R and Dublin H (2016) Engaging communities to combat illegal wildlife trade: a Theory of Change. IIED Briefing Paper. International Institute for Environment and Development, London. http://pubs.iied.org/17348IIED.html

Biggs D, Cooney R, Roe, D, Dublin H, Allan J, Challender D and Skinner, D (2015) Engaging local communities in tackling illegal wildlife trade: Can a ‘Theory of Change’ help? IIED Discussion Paper. IIED, London. http://pubs.iied.org/14656IIED.html

Roe D, Cooney R, Dublin H, Challender D, Biggs D, Skinner D, Abensperg-Traun M, Ahlers N, Melisch R and Murphree M (2015) Beyond Enforcement: engaging communities in tackling wildlife crime. IIED Briefing Paper. International Institute for Environment and Development, London http://pubs.iied.org/17293IIED.html

Cooney R, Anthony BP, Young JP, Pooley S, Redpath S, Canavelli S, Niskanen L, Mykrä Sakari M, Irie Y and Boulet H (2015) Sustainable Wildlife Management and Human-Wildlife Conflict. Factsheet of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management. UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome. http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4893e.pdf

Cooney R,Kasterine A, MacMillan D, Milledge S, Nossal K, Roe, D and 't Sas-Rolfes M (2015). The Trade in WIldlife: a framework to improve biodiversity and livelihood outcomes. International Trade Centre, Geneva, Switzerland. Online at https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2015-014.pdf

Roe D, Milledge S, Cooney R,  ‘t Sas-Rolfes M,  Biggs D,  Murphree M and Kasterine A (2014) The elephant in the room: sustainable use in the illegal wildlife trade debate. International Institute for Environment and Development, London. http://pubs.iied.org/17205IIED.html

Cooney R, von Meibom S and Hin Keong C (2012) Trading Timbers: A comparison of import requirements under CITES, FLEGT and related EU legislation for timber species in trade. TRAFFIC Europe, Brussels. Online at http://www.traffic.org/home/2012/10/11/new-report-compares-timber-import-requirements-to-safeguard.html

Cooney R, Chapple R, Doornbos S and Jackson S (2010) Native Mammals as Pets: conservation, animal welfare, and industry feasibility. Publication No. 10-072, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra. Online at https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/10-072

Cooney R and Edwards M (2009) Indigenous Wildlife Enterprise Development: regulation and policy context and challenges. North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance, Darwin. Online at http://www.nailsma.org.au/nailsma/projects/downloads/IWED-Regulations_policy-development.pdf

Cooney R (2009) Landholder Collaboration in Wildlife Management: Models for landholders to share benefits from kangaroo harvesting. Publication No. 08-150, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra. Online at https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/08-150

Cooney R (2008) Commercial and Sustainable Use of Wildlife: Suggestions to improve conservation, land management and rural economies. Publication No. 08-199, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra. Online at https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/08-199

Cooney R (2007) Sustainable Use: Concepts, Ambiguities, Challenges. Report prepared for IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group, July 2007 Online at http://data.iucn.org/themes/ssc/susg/docs/whiteoakmtgfinalbackgroundjuly07.pdf

Journal Articles

Harris R, Cooney R and Leader-Williams NJ (2013) Application of the Anthropogenic Allee Effect in relation to trophy hunting. Conservation Biology 27(5): 945-951

Cooney R and Abensperg-Traun M (2013) Raising local community voices: CITES, livelihoods and sustainable use. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 22(3): 301-310

Cooney R, Archer M, Baumber A, Ampt P, Wilson G, Smits J and Webb G (2012) “THINKK again: getting the facts straight on kangaroo harvesting and conservation” Science Under Siege, Royal Zoological Society, Mosman  [ Download pdf ]

Cooney R, Baumber A, Ampt P & Wilson G (2009) Sharing Skippy: Models for involving landholders in kangaroo management in Australia. The Rangelands Journal 31: 283-292

Baumber A, Cooney R, Ampt P & Gepp K (2009) Landholders and kangaroos in the rangelands: can collaboration complete the puzzle? The Rangelands Journal 31(1): 161-167

Cooney R & Lang A (2007) Taking uncertainty seriously: adaptive governance and international trade. European Journal of International Law 18: 523-551

Cooney R & Jepson P (2006) The international trade in wild birds: what’s wrong with blanket bans? Oryx 40(1): 18-23

Cooney R (2004) Better safe than sorry? The precautionary principle in biodiversity conservation. Oryx 38: 357-358

Cooney R (2001) CITES and the CBD: Tensions and Synergies. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 10(3): 259-268

Cooney R (2002) Colony defence in Damaraland mole-rats, Cryptomys damarensis. Behavioral Ecology 13(2): 160-162

Cooney R & Bennett NC (2000) Inbreeding avoidance and reproductive skew in a cooperative mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 267: 801-806

Cooney R (1998) The Damaraland mole-rat: social life in the Kalahari Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 53: 219-225

Cooney R & Cockburn A (1995) Territorial defence is the major function of female song in the superb fairy-wren, Malurus cyaneus. Animal Behaviour 49 (6): 1635-1647

Books and Book Chapters

 Merson, J, R. Cooney, and P. Brown. Conservation in a Crowded World: Case Studies from the Asia Pacific. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2012.

Cooney R (2006) A long and winding road? Precaution from principle to practice in biodiversity conservation. In Von Schomberg R, Fisher L & Jones J (Eds) Implementing the Precautionary Principle: Perspectives and Prospects Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, US: 233-244

Cooney R (2005) From promise to practicalities: the precautionary principle in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. In Cooney R & Dickson B (Eds) Biodiversity and the Precautionary Principle: Risk and Uncertainty in Conservation and Sustainable Use Earthscan, London, pp 3-17

Cooney R & Dickson B (Eds, 2005) Biodiversity and the Precautionary Principle: Risk and Uncertainty in Conservation and Sustainable Use Earthscan, London

Cooney R (2004) The Precautionary Principle in Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management: An issues paper for policymakers, researchers and practitioners IUCN Policy and Global Change series, No. 2. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK

Cooney R (2003) Looking ahead – international wildlife trade regulation and enforcement. In Oldfield S (Ed) The Trade in Wildlife: Regulation for Conservation Earthscan, London, pp 196-204

News and Opinion

Johnson C, Woinarski J and Cooney R (2015) Bans on kangaroo products are a case of emotion trumping science. The Conversation Oct 25th 2015 https://theconversation.com/bans-on-kangaroo-products-are-a-case-of-emotion-trumping-science-47924

Cooney R (2015) RIP Cecil the Lion. What will be his legacy? And who will decide? IIED Blog 31st July 2015 http://www.iied.org/rip-cecil-lion-what-will-be-his-legacy-who-should-decide

Cooney R (2013) CITES and Livelihoods: the missing voice of people who depend on wildlife trade. IUCN Blog 12 March 2013 http://portals.iucn.org/blog/2013/03/12/cites-and-livelihoods-the-missing-voice-of-people-who-depend-on-species-trade/

Cooney R (2011) From pests to profit: making kangaroos valuable to farmers. The Conversation 28 July 2011 http://theconversation.edu.au/from-pests-to-profits-making-kangaroos-valuable-to-farmers-9

ABC Big Ideas (2011) They Shoot Lions, Don’t They? ABC Big Ideas: The Hot Seat with M Archer, G Miles, R Cooney and K Leggett. Video broadcast http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/06/14/3243442.htm

Cooney R (2010) What price the world? National Parks Journal Oct-Dec 2010: 22-24