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World Conservation Union

The World Conservation Union or "International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources" (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation.

Founded in 1948, its headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland. The IUCN brings together 78 states, 112 government agencies, 735 NGOs and thousands of experts and scientists from 181 countries.

IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

These are the existing Protected Area Management Categories:

An area of land and/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species, available primarily for scientific research and/or environmental monitoring.

A large area of unmodified or slightly modified land, and/or sea, retaining its natural character and influence, without permanent or significant habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition.

A natural area of land and/or sea, designated to:
  1. protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations;
  2. exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area;
  3. provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.

An area containing one, or more, specific natural or natural/cultural feature which is of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative or aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.

An area of land and/or sea subject to active intervention for management purposes so as to ensure the maintenance of habitats and/or to meet the requirements of specific species.

An area of land, with coast and sea as appropriate, where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant aesthetic, ecological and/or cultural value, and often with high biological diversity. Safeguarding the integrity of this traditional interaction is vital to the protection, maintenance and evolution of such an area.

An area containing predominantly unmodified natural systems, managed to ensure long term protection and maintenance of biological diversity, while providing at the same time a sustainable flow of natural products and services to meet community needs.

See also

IUCN Red List

External Link

IUCN web page