Governance - law and rights

Equality and equity underpin sustainable development. IUCN works to enhance the agency of all those who are marginalised due to factors such as gender, class, age, (dis)ability, ethnicity, race or sexuality, and to ensure environmental law is effective and just.


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About governance, law and rights

Environmental law, social justice, equity, Human Rights, transparency and inclusion are fundamental to our vision of a just world that values and conserves nature. Rights-based and inclusive approaches to conservation and its legal frameworks support the good governance of natural resources and guarantee conservation’s contribution to human wellbeing. International agreements can similarly advance equality by empowering those who are marginalised and valuing the unique knowledge, roles and capacities of all people. 



potential increase in efficiency when water projects are gender-inclusive 



of ecologically intact landscapes are owned or managed by indigenous peoples 



groups across 20 countries showed that conflicts over natural resources management are more easily resolved in groups with a female presence

Our work

IUCN commits to respecting and harnessing the perspectives and agency of all citizens, especially youth, who constitute almost a fifth of the global population. The rights of indigenous peoples and local communities underpin their central role in conservation, as leaders and custodians of biodiversity. The agency of those who are marginalised, whether economically, socially or politically, including women, must be enhanced.

– Marseille Manifesto

We are committed to advancing equality, diversity and justice as a Union that understands the importance of equal opportunity and inclusion, and whose policies respect diversity. We provide knowledge, tools, strategies, legal and technical support to enhance nature conservation and human wellbeing through effective and equitable governance and a systematic adoption of rights-based and gender-responsive approaches. IUCN's work involves Members, various teams in the Secretartiat and Commissions, including the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy