Science-led approach

A sound scientific basis is vital for effective nature conservation. This encompasses compiling data and assessing them against formal standards, providing access to information, publishing research, and interacting with peer scientific networks. Across all of these, IUCN benefits from the thousands of expert members of the Union’s independent Commissions.

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Data, standards and tools

For many decades, IUCN has served as a standard-setter for conservation and sustainable development. Among the most widely-used IUCN standards are, for example, the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, the Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria, the Guidelines for Applying Protected area Management Categories, and the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions. The Union generates data through application of these standards, yielding knowledge products such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas, the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology and Protected Planet. These in turn allow the production of derived metrics such as the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration metric and indicators such as the Red List Index.

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IUCN Commissions Opens in the same window Opens in the new window

IUCN Commissions are networks of scientists and experts providing IUCN and its Members with technical and policy advice to drive conservation and sustainable development.

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Engaging with peer networks Opens in the same window Opens in the new window

In addition to its Member and Commission networks, IUCN works with numerous other scientific networks which have remits touching into conservation, biodiversity, and sustainability.

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Publications and publishing Opens in the same window Opens in the new window

IUCN publishes more than 25 original publications and over 30 translations every year, along with many other documents and guidelines. Learn more about our publications and publishing processes.

IUCN Library

IUCN Library Opens in the same window Opens in the new window

To provide access to science and knowledge related to nature and sustainable development, IUCN maintains a library housing a print collection of both IUCN and non-IUCN resources.

Get involved with IUCN’s science

If you are a conservation or sustainable development expert, you can participate in IUCN's scientific networks by joining an IUCN Commission. You can also sign up for the IUCN Library's "Off the shelf" newsletter to receive information on the latest publications available in the IUCN Library.