The Australian Committee for IUCN
Celebrating 70 years of IUCN – for a just world that values and conserves nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature
What is IUCN?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.
IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO Members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.
The History of IUCN
IUCN was founded in October 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (or IUPN) following an international conference in Fontainebleau, France. The organization changed its name to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1956 with the acronym IUCN (or UICN in French and Spanish). This remains our full legal name to this day. Use of the name “World Conservation Union”, in conjunction with IUCN, began in 1990. From March 2008 this name is no longer used.
The One Union Approach
The global IUCN Union is made up the IUCN Secretariat, the Council (including regional councilors), IUCN Member bodies and the six IUCN Commissions of volunteer experts. More information on the Union and its reach in Australia is outlined below.
The IUCN Council
The IUCN Council is the principal governing body of IUCN in between sessions of the World Conservation Congress - the general assembly of the Union's members.
Subject to the authority, direction and policy of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the role of the IUCN Council is to set strategic direction and policy guidance for the work of the Union; provide oversight and guidance on the performance of the components of the Union as a whole and of the Director General in particular; fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to the Members of the Union and render account to them; and support the Director General in communicating IUCN’s objectives, policy and Programme to the world community.
The 2016-2020 Council is composed of:
The IUCN Oceania Regional Councillors
There are three IUCN Regional Councillors in the Oceania Region. The current Councillors are based in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
Anna Elizabeth Tiraa
The Regional Secretariat: The Oceania Regional Office
The Oceania Regional Office of IUCN was established in 2007 to mobilize the Union's resources, build on its strengths and deliver on its vision 'for a just world that values and conserves nature'. The Regional Office is based in Suva, Fiji and aims to address key environmental concerns of the region particularly for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Find out more about the work of the Oceania Regional Office
The six IUCN Commissions
The great volunteer expert Commissions of IUCN are a powerhouse of global collaboration and knowledge exchange. They generate a large percentage of IUCN’s large publication output and take IUCN messages and work into all corners of the earth.
The six Commissions are the Species Survival Commission (SSC), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Commission on Environmental Law (CEL), Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).
Find out more about the IUCN Commissions
The World Conservation Congress
The Congress is held every four years and has two components: the World Conservation Forum and the IUCN Members Assembly. As such it is both an important international conservation event and also the main governing body of the IUCN. The 2012 World Conservation Congress was held from 6 to 15 September 2012 at the International Convention Center (ICC) in Jeju, Republic of Korea. For more information, click the logo.
Find out more about the 2016 World Conservation Congress
IUCN Membership - How to join
The opportunity to join the largest global environmental conservation network is open to:
It is important to note that individuals are able to become members of the six IUCN Commissions (see info below). In Australia, individuals are also able to join the ACIUCN network as Associates.
For more information on IUCN Membership, go to the MEMBERSHIP PAGE