IUCN at 70: knowledge and experience for today’s challenges

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, IUCN has launched a new blog, where IUCN Members and partners will debate topical conservation issues, alongside a series of events to be held around the world.

IUCN at 70

Established on 5 October 1948 in the French town of Fontainebleau, IUCN was the first global environmental union that brought together governments and civil society organisations with the shared goal of protecting nature.


Today, with the expertise and reach of more than 1,300 State and civil society Members, as well as over 10,000 international experts, IUCN is the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. It is a global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.


“Throughout its 70-year history, IUCN has championed the protection of nature and its role in achieving sustainable development,” says IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng. “Today, the world is waking up to the fact that the prosperity we want for ourselves and our children’s children depends on nature. As humanity tackles increasing global challenges, such as climate change and the sixth mass extinction, IUCN’s knowledge and expertise are more important than ever.”


For the past 70 years, IUCN has shaped the global environmental agenda, working to ensure that human progress, economic development and nature conservation take place together. The Union has been instrumental in the creation of key UN agreements, such as the World Heritage Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since 1999, IUCN has enjoyed official observer status to the United Nations.


“At this critical juncture in humanity’s history, all hands must be on deck to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “No one government or organisation can achieve this alone. IUCN’s power as a Union – with its knowledge, reach and 70 years’ worth of experience – is essential for charting the course forward.”


To mark its 70th anniversary, IUCN has launched the Crossroads blog, which will provide space for debate between IUCN Members and partners on some of the most topical and controversial issues related to nature conservation, sustainable development and beyond. Follow the debate at Crossroads, The IUCN Blog – Open Letters to IUCN Members


Throughout 2018, IUCN’s 70th anniversary celebrations are taking place around the world. Visit our website for details.


To learn more about IUCN’s 70-year history, visit our website.

For more information, please contact:

Goska Bonnaveira, IUCN Media Relations, mobile +41 79 276 01 85, email [email protected]

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