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The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  Aug 07, 2020

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Q. What is IUCN?

A. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organisation working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. It 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 15,000 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.

Q. Can a private for-profit organisation be a Member of IUCN?

A. No, a private for-profit organisation cannot be an IUCN Member even if their objectives are in line with IUCN’s.

Q. What are the categories for Members?

A. IUCN Members are grouped into four categories:

Category A:  (a) States and government agencies;

                     (b) Political or economic integration organisations;

Category B:  (c) National non-governmental organisations;

                     (d) International non-governmental organisations

Category C:  (e) Indigenous peoples’ organisations; and

Category D:  (f) Affiliates.

Q. What is the difference between Member and Affiliate Member?

A. Affiliate Members cannot vote in the World Conservation Congress. Affiliate Members shall be government agencies, and national and international non-governmental organisations, which are not in Categories A, B or C. 

Q. What is the World Conservation Congress?

A. It is the highest authority of the Union and it's held every four years. 

Its main roles include:

  1. Establishing IUCN's general policies.
  2. Making recommendations to governments and national and international organisations on any topic related to IUCN's objectives.
  3. Receiving and consider the reports of the general director, treasurer and presidents of the recognised Regional Commissions and Committees and of the Regional Forums
  4. Receiving the report of auditors and approve audited accounts.
  5. Examining and approve the Programme and the financial plan which will be used until the next sessions ordinary period of the World Congress.
  6. Approving the motions submitted by the Members.
  7. Establishing IUCN Member's dues.
  8. Establishing the number of Commissions and its rulings.
  9. Choosing a President, Treasurer, Regional Counsellors, and the Commissions' Presidents.
  10. Moreover, the Congress offers a public debate forum on the best ways to preserve nature's integrity and diversity, and ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable;

Q. Who can vote in the World Conservation Congress?

A. Only Members from Categories A, B and C can vote.

Q. What are IUCN's Motions and how are they adopted?

A. Motions are draft decisions submitted in writing for its adoption by the World Conservation Congress.  Once a motion is approved, it becomes a Resolution or Recommendation. The resolutions are directed towards IUCN itself. Recommendations refer to a third party and may address any matter of importance to IUCN's objectives.

Motions may be proposed by the Council, or by any Member eligible to vote with the co-sponsorship of at least two other eligible Members.Motions are approved during the World Conservation Congress through the Members' votes. 

Q. Which all are IUCN’s Commissions?

A. There are total Six IUCN Commissions which are made up of over ten thousands experts inform IUCN’s knowledge and help produce its work.

  1. The Commission on Education and Communication (CEC)
  2. The Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) 
  3. The Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) 
  4. World Commission on Protected Areas
  5. Species Survival Commission
  6.  World Commission on Environmental Law

Q. What is IUCN’s Red List of threatened Species. 

A. Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species. The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.