Borana pastoralist, Kenya Borana pastoralist, Kenya Photo: IUCN Photo Library / © Rafal Obrzud

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organisations and the input of more than 18,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.


Read more ...      How we operate | Our governanceDonors and Partners | Newsroom | Reporting 


1,400 + Members

18,000 + Experts

Active in 160+ countries


How we operate 

IUCN is a democratic Union that brings together the world’s most influential organisations and top experts
in a combined effort to conserve nature and accelerate the transition to sustainable development.


IUCN Member organisations set the direction of the Union's work, and global conservation efforts more broadly, every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.



Six IUCN Commissions made up of over ten thousand experts inform IUCN’s knowledge and help produce its work.



The IUCN Secretariat focusses its work on key themes and is organised into 11 operational regions in order to anchor its knowledge locally and better serve Members’ needs.

Themes | Regions 

Infographic - about IUCN Photo: IUCN



IUCN's strength and mandate come from its diverse and powerful membership; 
more than 1,400 Member organisations which provide the vision and oversight for the Union and its work.

IUCN Congress

Every four years, IUCN convenes the IUCN World Conservation Congress where IUCN Members set the global conservation agenda by voting on recommendations and guide the Secretariat’s work by passing resolutions and the IUCN Programme. IUCN Congress 2020 Photo: IUCN


IUCN Congress newsletter 

IUCN Council 

The IUCN Council is the principal governing body of IUCN between sessions of the World Conservation Congress. IUCN Members elect Commission chairs and representatives from Member organisations to serve four-year terms on the Council. 

President Razan Al Mubarak Photo: MBZ Fund

President Razan Al Mubarak 

Former IUCN Presidents

IUCN Secretariat 

The IUCN Secretariat works with Member organisations and IUCN Commissions to move the vision of IUCN’s membership into action. The Secretariat includes around 900 staff and projects in over 160 countries.

Dr Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General Photo: Bruno Oberle / EPFL

Director General Bruno Oberle

Former Directors General




Partnerships make IUCN's mission possible


Donors and Partners | Patrons of Nature

Acknowledging that IUCN sets the international quality standards for nature conservation, it is only logical that one of the leading financing institutions for biodiversity protection deepens its ties with IUCN. – Roland Siller, KfW Management Committee


Our vision


A just world that values
and conserves nature.


Our mission

Influence, encourage and assist societies
  to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature
and ensure that any use of natural resources is
equitable and ecologically sustainable.



IUCN | How we operate | Our governanceDonors and Partners | Newsroom | Reporting 

Go to top