IUCN from A to Z

10 July 2013 | Article

An alphabetical journey through the work of IUCN.

A – For more than 60 years, IUCN has been setting the global conservation AGENDA.

B – IUCN has helped over 75 countries prepare their national BIODIVERSITY strategies and was instrumental in creating the Convention on Biological Diversity.

C – Thanks to CONSERVATION action led by IUCN, the rate of biodiversity loss is now at least 20% less than it would have been without it.

D – IUCN is the world’s unique environmental DEMOCRACY in which both governments and non-governmental organizations have an equal voice.

E – IUCN helps countries, businesses and communities to move towards a greener world ECONOMY.

F – IUCN works to conserve the world’s FORESTS that provide livelihoods for over a billion people and help combat climate change — at least 17% of carbon emissions are caused by deforestation.

G – Through its member organizations, individual experts and partners in 160 countries, IUCN has a truly GLOBAL reach grounded in local understanding of how to manage natural resources sustainably.

H – IUCN helps governments understand and measure how conservation supports HUMAN wellbeing.

I – IUCN INFLUENCES environmental policy from local all the way to the highest international level using its Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly.

J – IUCN promotes JUST conservation that benefits the rural poor, indigenous peoples, women and other vulnerable groups who often contribute most to nature conservation.

K – IUCN brings credible, trusted KNOWLEDGE so that decisions on nature and natural resources can be based on facts rather than political dogma.

L – From biodiversity to chemicals, IUCN has developed some of the world’s most important environmental LAWS and helps countries implement them.

M – With over 1,200 MEMBERS including States, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, IUCN is the largest and oldest global conservation network.

N – IUCN promotes NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS to global challenges such as climate change, food security, disaster risk reduction and health.

O – IUCN is at the forefront of global efforts to protect OCEANS that cover 70% of our planet’s surface, produce half of the world’s oxygen, absorb 50% of atmospheric carbon and are home to 80% of all life on our planet.

P – Through its PARTNERSHIPS with leading companies, IUCN works towards a Net Positive Impact of the private sector on the environment.

Q – IUCN delivers QUANTIFIABLE benefits from sustainable management of natural resources — for example, forests deliver US$130 billion of direct, tangible benefits to 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people each year.

R – To tackle climate change, IUCN helped broker the REDUCING EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION (REDD) mechanism and worked with nearly 40 countries on REDD-readiness.

S – IUCN first coined the concept of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in its 1980 publication World Conservation Strategy.

T – IUCN advises countries on how to sustainably manage wildlife TRADE estimated to be worth billions of dollars every year worldwide, and helps combat illegal trade.

U – IUCN’s strength lies in its nature as a UNION of governments and NGOs, scientists and practitioners, and developed and developing nations.

V – IUCN provides tools to properly VALUE nature’s benefits and reflect the costs of environmental damage, which is currently estimated at more than US$ 2 trillion annually.

W – IUCN works in 20 major river basins around the world to secure clean, fresh WATER for people and nature.

X – IUCN’s 12,000 scientists and experts in its six volunteer Commissions are unrivaled global networks of EXPERTISE on environmental law, education and communication, ecosystem management, economic, social and environmental policy, protected areas and species survival.

Y – Since the establishment of YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK and other national parks at the turn of the 20th century, IUCN has helped increase global area under protection to today’s nearly 13% of the Earth’s land surface and just under 2% of the marine realm, and to improve management of protected areas.

Z – From albatrosses to ZEBRAS, the flagship IUCN Red List of Threatened Species sets conservation priorities for over 20,000 animals and plants that are threatened with extinction worldwide.