The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization. Watch our video to find out more!
What is IUCN?
IUCN at a glance
- Founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organization
- Today the largest professional global conservation network
- A leading authority on the environment and sustainable development
- More than 1,200 member organizations including 200+ government and 900+ non-government organizations
- Almost 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts, grouped in six Commissions in some 160 countries
- IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.
- A neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find practical solutions to conservation and development challenges
- Thousands of field projects and activities around the world
- Governance by a Council elected by member organizations every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress
- Funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, member organizations and corporations
- Official Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly
What does IUCN do?
Conserving biodiversity is central to the mission of IUCN. We demonstrate how biodiversity is fundamental to addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and food security.
To deliver conservation and sustainability at both the global and local level, IUCN builds on its strengths in the following areas:
- Science – 11,000 experts setting global standards in their fields, for example, the definitive international standard for species extinction risk – the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
- Action – hundreds of conservation projects all over the world from the local level to those involving several countries, all aimed at the sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources.
- Influence – through the collective strength of more than 1,200 government and non-governmental Member organizations, IUCN influences international environmental conventions, policies and laws.
How does IUCN work?
- Ecosystem management
- Environmental law
- Forest conservation
- Global policy
- Marine and polar
- Protected areas
- Science and knowledge
- Social policy
- World Heritage