Previous focus topics

Climate change

Mangrove - focus december 2011

December 2011. While the world bemoans the lack of political commitment to tackle climate change, IUCN experts are working day and night to ensure that natural solutions are part of the international response to this growing threat.

Celebrating forests

celebrating forests

November 2011. As we come to the end of 2011—the International Year of Forests—we look at what’s been achieved in securing the enormous, irreplaceable contribution that the world’s forests make to the survival of biodiversity and human society.

Saving our Drylands

Drylands in Kenya - Garba Tula

October 2011. This month’s Focus exposes the real value of drylands and IUCN’s efforts to save them. With the biennial meeting of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) taking place 10 to 21 October in the Republic of Korea, IUCN will be promoting solutions that simultaneously conserve the extraordinary biodiversity found in drylands and improve the lives of the people living in them.

Let's do it!

IUCN Staff

September 2011. One year from now, leaders from government, UN agencies, business, industry and civil society organizations will come together in the Republic of Korea to debate and decide on solutions to the world’s most pressing environment and development challenges.

From Karakorum to Kalimantan

Floating Houses in Cambodia

August 2011. Asia is a land full of natural and cultural wonders. But the region, its people and its nature, face critical challenges, including poverty, water shortages and the disastrous threats posed by climate change.

From Beirut to Bahrain

From Beirut to Bahrain

July 2011. Few regions are as diverse and fascinating as West Asia, the convergence point of Mediterranean, Persian and Arabic civilizations. Spanning Mediterranean forests, deserts, mountains, mangroves and coral reefs, this region has it all ecologically but is undergoing some profound environmental changes.

Simply the best?

Iguazu falls

Our June Focus takes a look behind the scenes at efforts underway to save the planet’s iconic natural and cultural sites.

Ocean commotion

Ocean commotion

May 2011. It’s a challenging time for our oceans and seas. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant are stark reminders of the serious threats facing the marine world that have escalated sharply in recent decades.

Natural born heroes

Natural born heroes

April 2011. Our April focus highlights the compelling stories of some of conservation’s unsung heroes in their efforts to save the natural world

IUCN at work in South America

Amazonia to Patagonia

1 March 2011. From towering waterfalls to mighty mountains, lush rainforests to harsh deserts, South America is a land of contrasts and a land of extremes. It is home to the world's highest waterfall—Angel Falls in Venezuela, the longest mountain range—the Andes, the driest place on earth—the Atacama Desert and the largest rainforest—the Amazon Rainforest.

IUCN celebrates the International Year of Forests

Batwa women and children show their pottery wares, Burundi

January 2011. Join us in celebrating all that’s wonderful about the world’s forests—our jungles, woods and mangroves—and what they mean for the well-being of people and the planet.

Next steps for biodiversity

Next steps fro biodiversity

December 2010. As the International Year of Biodiversity draws to a close, we take stock of what has been achieved and look at what lies ahead for biodiversity in the coming years.

IUCN and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Cancún, Mexico

Cancún: climate of change?

November 2010. The challenge posed to humanity by climate change is as great and as urgent as ever. The impacts on people and biodiversity are already being felt in most parts of the world; this year has again seen a number of extreme, devastating weather events. Learn about IUCN's efforts to make sure nature becomes a central part of global solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Deadline Life: IUCN and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference in Nagoya, Japan

Last chance talks for life on earth?

October 2010. The United Nations General Assembly dedicated a high level summit to biodiversity in September which gave much-needed political impetus for a sustained global response to the crisis facing the natural world. Now, all eyes are turning to the Japanese city of Nagoya where leaders will gather for the 10th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 18 to 29 October 2010.


Water for life: conserving the earth's freshwater

Water focus square

September 2010. Water is where all life begins: We rely on it to grow our food, produce our goods and generate our energy. There is no substitute for water— every living thing depends on it. And yet lack of water has become one of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Mysteries of the big blue: IUCN's work on saving the oceans

August 2010. This month’s ocean focus takes us on a journey of discovery. We take a look at how IUCN is helping to unlock the secrets of The Deep and find ways of combating the many threats that are placing our marine world under siege.

Wonders of the world: spotlight on World Heritage

July 2010. The conservation of some of the world’s most outstanding natural and cultural areas is under the spotlight this month as the international community gathers in Brazil to debate which areas should be designated as new World Heritage Sites.

Energizing the future: making the transition to sustainable energy

Solar Panels

June 2010. How to meet the planet’s burgeoning energy demand without threatening our natural world. Find out how IUCN is contributing through a host of stories, reports and interviews with our experts.

Greening business and the world economy

Business unusual

April 2010. Despite the recent global economic crisis, business and industry are still growing. With this growth comes increasing calls from government and civil society for them to improve their environmental and social record. IUCN, along with its partners in the conservation community, is showing how economic development can be made more sustainable.

The appliance of science: IUCN's input to the Convention on Biological Diversity's scientific body

The appliance of science

May 2010. The need for strong and objective science on which to base nature conservation decisions comes into focus this month as IUCN gears up for a landmark meeting in this International Year of Biodiversity.

Managing global wildlife trade

Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

March 2010. New measures to sustainably manage the international trade of bluefin tuna, elephants, sharks and numerous other species are being debated at the triennial conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which takes place 13 to 25 March.

Forest futures: IUCN's work on conserving the world's forests

Administrateur Communale meeting the Batwa in Mututu

February 2010. Forests are under the spotlight as never before. They are globally important in regulating climate and locally important in sustaining communities and supporting biodiversity. But with unsustainable logging and agriculture and biofuel expansion competing for forested lands, forests and the people who depend on them are under increasing pressure.

Celebrating Biodiversity

Celebrating Biodiversity

International Year of Biodiversity

2010-2011. Join us in celebrating 2010 – the International Year of Biodiversity, declared by the United Nations. Throughout the year we will be celebrating biological diversity – the variety of life on Earth – and boosting awareness of how important it is for our lives.

Turning the tide: United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen


December 2009. IUCN is optimistic but realistic and will have a strong presence at the conference. It is striving to ensure that nature-based solutions are incorporated into the post-2012 agreement to mitigate climate change and adapt to the impacts we cannot now avoid.

Adapting to change, the natural way

Tales of Water, a Child's View

November 2009. The impacts of climate change are already being felt by both people and the environment around the world and they’re set to get a lot worse. Sea levels are rising, threatening island nations and coastal areas, storms are becoming more violent bringing floods and landslides, and droughts are intensifying. Learn how nature can play a major role in protecting us against the impacts of climate change.

Forest, people and climate change: the REDD solution

The reflection of the rainforest in the black waters of the Amazon, Brazil

October 2009. Major reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions are necessary if we are to avoid disastrous climate change. Given that deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 17% of man-made global greenhouse gas emissions, conservation and sustainable management of forests is a good place to start. Learn more about REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.

A new destiny for our drylands

Gum Arabic Hashab. Sudan

September 2009. Drylands cover more than 40% of the earth’s land surface and are home to more than a third of the world’s population, many of whom are the poorest of the poor. Found on every continent, drylands are the arid or semi-arid regions where rainfall is scarce and soils are less fertile.

Feeding the world, naturally: nature's contribution to food security

Bilimbi, a wild fruit on a farm tree. Though the fruit is very acid it makes a very good beverage.

August 2009. Food insecurity is a global concern. But insufficient attention is being paid to what underpins all of our food systems—biodiversity and ecosystem services such as soil formation, water supply, pollination, disease control and resilience to extreme weather.

The blue revolution: saving our seas

The blue revolution

July 2009. Beneath the surface of the oceans lies an extraordinarily diverse and relatively peaceful world. But this world, whose many secrets are still to be unlocked, is under siege. The threats facing the marine environment are numerous and complex yet less than 1% of the oceans are protected.

Strengthening forest voices


June 2009. Forests are precious assets. They are home to much of the world´s biodiversity, store vast amounts of carbon, support the livelihoods of the world´s poorest people, provide fuel and building materials, protect our watersheds and offer a shield against extreme weather.