International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  • Claire Warmenbol
  • Mark Smith
Reference work entry


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.

IUCN is the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 16,000 experts. 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.

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. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems such as wetlands, and improve people’s well-being.


International organisation Sustainable development Biodiversity conservation Nature-based solutions Climate change adaptation Environmental governance River basin management Natural infrastructure 


  1. Matthews GVT. The Ramsar convention on Wetlands: its history and development. Gland: The Ramsar Secretariat; 1993.Google Scholar
  2. Wetlands Conservation Programme 1985–1987: life at the eater’s edge. WWF/IUCN.Google Scholar
  3. Zwarts L, van Beukering P, Kone B, et al., editors. The Niger, a lifeline: effective water management in the Upper Niger Basin. Veenwouden: Altenburg & Wymenga; 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IUCN Global Water Programme, IUCN HeadquartersGlandSwitzerland

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