The six Commissions unite 13,000 volunteer experts from a range of disciplines. They assess the state of the world’s natural resources and provide the Union with sound know-how and policy advice on conservation issues.

Who does what ?

CEC drives change for the co-creation of sustainable solutions through leading communication, learning and knowledge management in IUCN and the wider conservation community.

CEESP provides expertise and policy advice on economic and social factors for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 

WCEL advances environmental law by developing new legal concepts and instruments, and by building the capacity of societies to employ environmental law for conservation and sustainable development. 

CEM provides expert guidance on integrated ecosystem approaches to the management of natural and modified ecosystems. 

SSC advises the Union on the technical aspects of species conservation and mobilizes action for those species that are threatened with extinction. 

WCPA promotes the establishment and effective management of a worldwide representative network of terrestrial and marine protected areas.  


  • Termas Chillan-Chile Photo: UICN-Sur

    The conservation right: a new property right for sustainability


    By Jaime Ubilla - Traditional property rights have existed for more than 2000 years, but today we are witnessing the development of a new kind of property right: a conservation right (“Conservation Right”), which has emerged from legal research conducted...

  • Orangutan eating from Bendang tree An orangutan eats fruit from the crown of a Bendang tree (Borassodendron borneense). Photo: Anne Russon

    IUCN study identifies tree species for climate-resilient reforestation


    An IUCN study has identified tree species native to Indonesia’s Kutai National Park that are resilient to climate change and support threatened East Bornean orangutan populations, recommending their use in reforestation efforts. The study was funded by the...

  • Bradnee Chambers Photo: CMS

    WCEL remembers Bradnee Chambers


    By Elizabeth Mrema - It is with deep sorrow and sadness that we have to inform you all that our friend, partner, colleague and learned brother, Bradnee Chambers, then Executive Secretary, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (...

  • Participants at the ESARO NRGF Workshop discuss ways that the NRGF could help address governance issues in their work. Photo © Michelle Kimeu Participants at the ESARO NRGF Workshop discuss ways that the NRGF could help address governance issues in their work. Photo © Michelle Kimeu Photo: Michelle Kimeu

    NRGF Updates: From conceptual development to implementation with continued learning


    CEESP News - by Jessica Campese, IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) Chair As the Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) knowledge basket develops, it is increasingly moving from conceptual development to implementation, with wider...

  • Langscape Magazine cover Front cover of Terralingua's Langscape Magazine, Vol. 7:2, Winter 2018. Photo: Mateo Hinojosa, 2018.

    “Nourishing the Body and Soul”: Terralingua’s Langscape Magazine Explores the Biocultural Diversity of Food


    CEESP News - by TerraLingua Being together, sharing food. More than any other activity, the preparation, and consumption of meals sets the rhythm of human life. Over thousands of years, different cultures have painstakingly fine-tuned their production of...

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