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The Australian Committee for IUCN

The Australian Committee for IUCN Inc. (ACIUCN) was founded in 1979 to provide a focus for Australian member organisations of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and organisations with primary interests or responsibilities in nature conservation to support IUCN’s global mission for ‘a just world which values nature’ within Australia.

The Purpose

To contribute to the conservation and restoration of the natural environment in Australia and the appreciation of its diverse values by providing a forum for Australian members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and IUCN Commissions that brings them together in an equal and constructive partnership to exchange information and views and, through consensus, to develop policy advice, publications and actions to promote ‘a just world which values and conserves nature’ in accordance with the mission and policies of IUCN.

The IUCN Network

As a network, IUCN consists of three constituent parts: government and non-government Members; experts in voluntary Commissions, including task forces and specialist groups; and members of the global Secretariat. Collectively, the constituents work collaboratively to deliver and implement the agreed IUCN Programme. ACIUCN works with all three elements.

Given IUCN composition, both IUCN and ACIUCN are apolitical, championing good policy through good science and knowledge.

ACIUCN Objectives

ACIUCN’s objects under the Amended 2013 Constitution are:

  • 4(1) To achieve the purposes of the Committee by:
    • (a) facilitating communication, exchange of information and development of views amongst Australian members of IUCN and IUCN Commissions, and between IUCN and Australian members;
    • (b) fostering co-operation and co-ordination in conserving the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable;
    • (c) facilitating the involvement of Australian members of IUCN and of IUCN Commissions in the development and implementation of IUCN policies and programmes;
    • (d) stimulating and fostering the use of scientific, legal, economic and other expertise, professional skills, practical experience, research and resources of government and voluntary bodies to further nature conservation;
    • (e) contributing to international conservation activities with special reference to the Oceania Region;
    • (f) expanding membership of IUCN and ACIUCN
    • (g) doing all such other things as are conducive or incidental to the attainment of these objects.

Achieving the ACIUCN Objectives

Ways in which ACIUCN achieves its objectives include:

  • using the unique convening position of IUCN to bring together both members and other significant participants to address key conservation questions and concerns and promote ecologically sustainable solutions;
  • organising meetings to provide opportunities for members to benefit from visiting IUCN experts
  • publishing constructive policy inputs on key conservation questions
  • disseminating information from IUCN to alert members to opportunities and facilitate Australian responses to IUCN matters
  • disseminating information on conservation topics of interest to members
  • providing meetings to facilitate the exchange of information and views between members to foster constructive consideration of national conservation issues
  • encouraging members to contribute to conservation outside Australia;

Who are we? The ACIUCN Director & Executive Committee

The Australian Committee for IUCN is a small organisation with a single staff member - the ACIUCN Director. The Director is supported by the ACIUCN Executive Committee, which is made up of four elected members - two from government members and two from non government. In addition to these members, the IUCN Councillor resident in Australia serves on the committee and a Treasurer may be seconded. The Executive is responsible for carrying out the administrative affairs of the Committee and attending to matters between meetings. The Chair is elected from the Executive and the role of Chair alternates every two years between government and non-government members.

Find out more about the ACIUCN Director and Executive Committee

Revitalising ACIUCN

From 2011 to 2014, ACIUCN underwent a major process of revitalisation with the appointment of a Director, Penelope Figgis AO, who brought her long career and networks in representing the environment in Government statutory authorities and NGOs Australian to ACIUCN. Through the work of the Executive Committee and Director, an effective National Committee has been established to assists members to contribute to conservation outcomes in Australia and the global mission of IUCN.

Find out more about the successful ACIUCN EVENTS and PUBLICATIONS


Voting membership of ACIUCN is open to any Australian member body of IUCN plus any members of the IUCN Council resident in Australia.

Find out more about ACIUCN membership