International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)

Union mondiale pour la conservation de la nature et de ses ressources
Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y de los Recursos Naturales (UICN)

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Founded 5 Oct 1948, Fontainebleau (France), as International Union for the Protection of Nature (IUPN) -- Union internationale pour la protection de la nature (UIPN), at an international conference convened by UNESCO and the French Government. Establishment followed the setting up, Oct 1928, Brussels (Belgium), of Office international de documentation et de corrélation pour la protection de la nature, as the delayed result of the decision of an intergovernmental conference, 1913, Bern (Switzerland); subsequently becoming International Office for the Protection of Nature, 1934, on registration under Belgian law; reactivated in 1945 and documentation transferred to the IUPN on its setting up in 1948. Present Statutory name adopted June 1956, Edinburgh (UK). Presentational name: World Conservation Union -- Union mondiale pour la nature -- Unión Mundial para la Naturaleza, adopted Dec 1990, Perth (Australia); dropped in Mar 2008. Statutes adopted 5 Oct 1948; revised 4 Oct 1978; amended 2 and 5 Dec 1990; revised 22 Oct 1996 and 13 Oct 2008; last amended 13 Oct 2015. Established pursuant to Swiss Civil Code.


Influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable; develop and support cutting edge conservation science, particularly in species, ecosystems and biodiversity and the impact these have on human livelihoods.

Future Events

2020 Marseille, France – Members Assembly

2020 Marseille, France – World Conservation Congress

Past Events(2)

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Events/meetings; projects/programmes; guidance/assistance/consulting; politics/policy/regulatory; training/education; monitoring/evaluation; knowledge management/information dissemination. Programme is implemented through combined force of the Secretariat - via global thematic programmes and regional programmes - working together with the 3 IUCN Commissions, with members who provide knowledge for Programme implementation. On a global basis, monitors status of threatened species and ecosystems, protected areas and areas in need of protection, major actual or impending ecological changes and their causes and consequences and major issues regarding the management of natural resources. Management of treaties and agreements: Convention on Biological Diversity (Biodiversity convention); Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Convention on Wetlands); United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


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English, French, Spanish.


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Consultative Status

 • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (Special Status);

 • International Maritime Organization (IMO);

 • Organization of American States (OAS);

 • UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UN Environment WCMC);

 • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (Special Category);

 • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Associate Status);

 • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (Permanent Observer Status);

 • World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 90 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 64 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 327 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Resources
    • Resources
  • Geography
    • Ecology
    • Nature
  • Social Activity
    • Employment
  • Development
    • Sustainable Development
  • Conservation
    • Conservation
  • Harmony
    • Diversity

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



Last News Received

* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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