The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an organization dedicated to conserving nature and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. The organization was founded on October 5, 1948, and originally named the International Union for the Protection of Nature. It is unique among environmental nonprofits in that it focuses its conservation efforts on collaboration with local government officials and businesses by fostering partnership among all stakeholders. The organization's work has involved the foundation of two other organizations: the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The headquarters of the IUCN are currently located in Gland, Switzerland.
History of the IUCN
From its establishment in 1948 until 1956, the IUCN was known as the International Union for the Protection of Nature. During this time, its secretariat office was located in Brussels, Amsterdam. Over the next two decades, the organization spread across the globe and became known for working closely with the newly independent governments of Africa, particularly during the 1960s. In 1961, the IUCN headquarters were relocated to Morges, Switzerland. The organization helped draft several international conventions, including: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Ramsar Convention, and the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Culture and Natural Heritage. Between 1990 and 2008, the organization's name was changed to the World Conservation Union, and then later to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Where Are the IUCN Headquarters Located?
The IUCN headquarters are currently located on Rue Mauverney Street in Gland, Switzerland. The organization is headed by the Director of the Global Protected Areas Program (currently Trevor Sandwith), and assisted by the Deputy Director of the Global Protected Areas Program (currently Pedro Rosabel). In addition to its headquarters in Switzerland, the IUCN has eight regional offices that are located in each respective IUCN region.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is active all over the world and has a presence in more than 50 countries. Its network consists of approximately 1,000 full time employees, as well as approximately 16,000 researchers, scientists, and experts. In order to achieve widespread impact on regulations and business practices, the IUCN also works closely with more than 1,400 nonprofits and government agencies. These members further categorize and organize themselves into cooperative working teams, which are referred to as committees. Currently, this network of members and stakeholders are organized into seven regional committees and 62 national committees that work to protect nature in their respective regions of the world. The organization is divided into six commissions that rely on the guidance of experts and researchers to conduct their work. These commissions are: the Commission on Ecosystem Management; the Commission on Education and Communication; the World Commission on Environmental Law; the Species Survival Commission; the Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy; and the World Commission on Protected Areas.