Culture and Wetlands
Sacred Natural Sites
Partners and Activities
Sacred Natural Sites

Partners and Activities

IUCN was founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organisation. Today it is the largest professional global conservation network, a leading authority on the environment and sustainable development. Its member organisations are more than 1,200, including 200+ government and 900+ non-government organisations, and almost 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts work with IUCN, grouped in six Commissions in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

It is a neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find pragmatic solutions to conservation and development challenges. IUCN runs thousands of field projects and activities around the world. It is governed by a Council elected by member organisations every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress and is funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, member organizations and corporations. IUCN is has an Official Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly.

Conserving biodiversity is central to the mission of IUCN. It demonstrates how biodiversity is fundamental to addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges: tackling climate change, achieving sustainable energy, improving human well-being and building a green economy.

To deliver conservation and sustainability at both the global and local level, IUCN builds on its strengths in the following areas:

Science – 11,000 experts setting global standards in their fields, for example, the definitive international standard for species extinction risk – the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

Action – hundreds of conservation projects all over the world from the local level to those involving several countries, all aimed at the sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources.

Influence – through the collective strength of more than 1,200 government and non-governmental Member organizations, IUCN influences international environmental conventions, policies and laws.


Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas Specialist group (CSVPA)

The IUCN WCPA Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas was established in 1998 as the Task Force on Non Material Values of Protected Areas and changed name to task Force on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas in 2003. CSVPA changed status from a Task Force (4 year mandate) to Specialist Group (permanent mandate) in 2009.

The Specialist Group is composed of approximately 100 General Members from 24 countries that. However, anyone who is interested is encouraged to participate, especially if you are willing to invest some time to further the CSVPA's activities. All participants in the Task Force, including the Chair and the Co-Chair are volunteers.

The work of CSVPA is coordinated through the Chair Rob Wild and Co-Chair Bas Verschuuren as well as the broader Steering Committee. Some steering committee members have initiated projects under the auspicious of the Specialist Group with the approval f the WCPA. Others have established institutional linkages.