The IUCN Council is the principal governing body of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, 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 President;
- Four Vice Presidents (elected by Council from among its members)
- The Treasurer;
- The Chairs of IUCN's six Commissions;
- Twenty-eight Regional Councillors: four (4) for Africa; four (4) for Meso and South America; three (3) for North America and the Caribbean; five (5) for South and East Asia; three (3) for West Asia; three (3) for Oceania; three (3) for East Europe, North and Central Asia; and three (3) West Europe;
- A Councillor from the State in which IUCN has its seat (Switzerland);
- One additional appointed Councillor.
The elected members of Council hold office from the close of the World Conservation Congress (10 September 2016) to the close of the next ordinary session of the Congress, which will be held in June 2020 in Marseille, France.
The Bureau of the IUCN Council acts on behalf, and under the authority of the Council between meetings of the Council.
IUCN Council members and Director General in November 2017. Absent from the picture: Antonio Benjamin (Chair WCEL); Also on the picture: Deputy Commission Chairs Denise Antolini (WCEL), Katalin Czippán (CEC), Madhav Karki (CEM), Julia Miranda Londoño (WCPA), and Luc De Wever, Secretary to Council, Mason Smith, Regional Director Oceania Regional Office and Fadi Shraideh, Regional Director West Asia and LI Kangxi, Assistant to President Zhang.