International Union for Conservation of Nature

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. It harnesses the experience, resources and reaches of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of some 16,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Our experts are organised into six commissions dedicated to species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication. 

 IUCN Programme

The IUCN Programme provides the framework for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the conservation work undertaken by the Commissions and the Secretariat with and on behalf of IUCN Members.

The IUCN Programme 2017-2020 was approved by Member organisations at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in September 2016 in Hawaii, USA. It was developed as a result of a nine-month consultation process across IUCN Members and Commissions.

 Working for people and nature

 Our work is guided by the IUCN Programme 2017- 2020 which has three priority areas:

Diagram of the 2017-2020 Programme framework


Into the UN Decade of Biodiversity and the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, Aichi target 11, the IUCN Programme 2017–2020 will reach these three objectives through work with the global IUCN member network and its partners, with the following actions.

  • Valuing and conserving nature enhances IUCN’s heartland work on biodiversity conservation, emphasising both tangible and intangible values of nature.
  • Promoting and supporting effective and equitable governance of natural resources consolidates IUCN’s work on people-nature relations, rights and responsibilities, and the political economy of nature.
  • Deploying nature-based solutions to societal challenges expands IUCN’s work on nature’s contribution to tackling problems of sustainable development, particularly in climate change, food security and social and economic development. 
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