Environmental Law

We live in a world where we are subject to environmental and economic effects that transcend national boundaries. Increasing globalisation has led to a greater recognition of the need to address these issues.



How we engage

Law is fundamental to just and effective governance of natural resources, for the benefit of people and nature.

IUCN aims to advance environmental law through the development of legal concepts and instruments. IUCN also helps societies apply environmental law in the conservation of nature and ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.


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Regional Seminar on Wildlife Crime, Yaounde, Cameroon, Sept. 2019 --participants Regional Seminar on Wildlife Crime, Yaounde, Cameroon, Sept. 2019 --participants Photo: ELC


Illegal taking and illegal killing represents a significant and growing pressure on wild species of fauna and flora.


Cambodia, river Cambodia, river Photo: kolibri5 on Pixabay

Water Law and Governance

Only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater; about two-thirds of it is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps and we have long over-stretched this precious resource.


desert desert Photo: naturfreund on Pixabay

Climate Change

Global biodiversity faces severe threats from climate change in the form of rising temperatures, floods, droughts, severe weather incidents, deforestation and desertification.


Other areas

The ELP works across different scales from global to local, and across the full spectrum of sectors concerning natural resource governance.


Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

thumbnail_Governing areas beyond national jurisdiction issues brief Photo: IUCN

Governing areas beyond national jurisdiction

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean is beyond national jurisdiction – where no single state has authority. This area reaches depths of over 10 km and represents 95% of the Earth’s total habitat by...
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