There are many encouraging examples of how different interest groups can come together to negotiate fair outcomes and take better decisions regarding the management and conservation of natural resources. But there is no single consistent framework that can be used to determine how well specific natural resource governance systems work and to highlight how these systems can be improved.

The main aim of the IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework is to provide an independent method to determine the strengths and weaknesses of natural resource decision-making and implementation. It will help decision-makers, whether citizens, economic institutions or political authorities to make better and fairer decisions that will underpin the sustainable management of natural resources and improve existing governance arrangements.

IUCN will develop, test and apply the new framework that will provide the same coherency and consistency of approach to understanding and assessing natural resource governance as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species does for the conservation status of threatened species.