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

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of almost 1300 member organisations and agencies from over 160 countries. These include states and government agencies, NGOs large and small, scientific and academic institutions and business associations. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards of the conservation of nature.


Commission on Education and Communication, CEC
Members: over 1300


Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, CEESP
Members: about 1465


World Commission on Environmental Law, WCEL
Members: about 800





Commission on Ecosystem Management, CEM
Members: about 1000



Species Survival Commission, SSC
Members: about 7500


World Commission on Protected Areas, WCPA
Members: about 1300


IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. These projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.

IUCN is supported by some 16 000 volunteer experts from a range of disciplines, working in six Commissions listed below. They assess the state of the world’s natural resources and provide the Union with sound know-how and policy advice on conservation issues.

IUCN's headquarters are located in Gland, Switzerland, in one of Europe's greenest office buildings: the IUCN Conservation Centre.

IUCN’s full legal name, as registered in Switzerland, is UICN, Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature et de ses ressources (IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). It is used only in documents that are of a legal nature or may have legal implications. It is not used in general external or internal communications.

More information about the IUCN can be found on the official web side of the Union: