IUCN is the largest environmental democracy, comprising over 1000 Members (States, Government agencies and NGOs), 11,000 individual Commission members and 1,000 professional staff.
The Union is organized into 8 Regions according to the IUCN Statutes: Africa; Meso and South America; North America and the Caribbean; South and East Asia; West Asia; Oceania; East Europe, North and Central Asia; and West Europe.
Members can organize themselves into National and Regional Committees in order to facilitate cooperation, coordination and participation in the programme and governance of the Union.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress, the highest decision-making body of IUCN, is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. Held every four years, the Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development. The Congress starts with the Forum run by IUCN Members and partners discussing cutting edge ideas, thinking and practice. The Forum leads into the IUCN Members’ Assembly, a unique global environmental parliament of duly accredited IUCN Member delegates - governments and NGOs - meeting in session to define the general policy of IUCN.
The IUCN Council is the governing body of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, in between sessions of the World Conservation Congress - the general assembly of the Union's Members. The Council is responsible for the oversight and general control of all the affairs of IUCN, subject to the authority of the World Conservation Congress.
IUCN’ six Commissions unite 11,000 volunteer experts from a range of disciplines. They assess the state of the world’s natural resources and provide the Union with sound know-how and policy advice on conservation issues.
Operational support is provided by the Secretariat, which counts more than 1,000 professional staff. Accountable to the IUCN Council, the Secretariat is led by a Director General and a Deputy Director General. It has a decentralized structure with regional, outpost, country and project offices around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland.
The work of IUCN is made possible through the support of a growing number of partners and donors: governments, multilateral agencies and conventions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, private sector and individuals.