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    Governance and Rights

    The fulfilment of IUCN’s mission requires the Union to address and effectively integrate key social issues in its conservation programmes.


    How we engage

    Social justice, equity, transparency and inclusion are vital to achieving IUCN’s vision and mission. Rights-based and socially inclusive approaches to conservation are fundamental for effective natural resource management and its contribution to human wellbeing and biodiversity.

    In advancing this work in conservation, IUCN focusses on these key areas:


    • Mozambique_woman farmer_SUSTAIN Initiative Photo: ?IUCN Water

      SUSTAIN: Driving growth by putting people and nature centre-stage


      Following five years of climate-resilient development work in Tanzania and Mozambique landscapes, the SUSTAIN iniative closed its first phase by capturing key learning and progress against the goals set by the partnership in 2014. The new...

    • Rural and indigenous women are particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Maya Q'eqchi women from Guatemala learn about further sanitation protocols while sharing ancestral knowledge of natural medicines found in their forests and family garden Rural and indigenous women are particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Maya Q'eqchi women from Guatemala learn about further sanitation protocols while sharing ancestral knowledge of natural medicines found in their forests and family gardens. Las mujeres rurales e indígenas son particularmente impactadas por la pandemia de COVID-19. Aquí mujeres, Maya Q’eqchí de Guatemala aprenden sobre los protocolos de saneamiento, al mismo tiempo que comparten conocimientos ancestrales sobre las medicinas naturales que se encuentran en sus bosques y huertos familiares. Photo: Asociacion Ak′Tenamit

      Strengthening indigenous rights and leadership in the face of global challenges - COVID-19, climate change and environmental degradation


      Around the world, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and deepened existing patterns of social inequality and vulnerability. In particular, indigenous peoples face disproportionate and severe impacts, reflecting long-standing disparities in...

    • Mangroves are an important but fragile ecosystem Sustainably managed mangroves can provide ecosystem services such as coastal protection, food and medicines as well as carbon storage, positively impacting both biodiversity and human well-being. The IUCN Global Standard for NbS provides a tool to help ensure that projects labelled as Nature-based Solutions - for example through restoration of mangroves - do indeed deliver the anticipated benefits to both society and biodiversity. Photo: Maxwell Ridgway / Unsplash

      IUCN Standard to boost impact of nature-based solutions to global challenges


      Gland, Switzerland, 23 July 2020 (IUCN) – IUCN today unveiled a Global Standard providing the first-ever set of benchmarks for nature-based solutions to global challenges. The new IUCN Global Standard will help governments, business and civil society ensure...

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    In Kalongo, Uganda, IUCN works with local stakeholders during a community meeting on land use in the Agoro-Agu landscape as a part of its PLUS project Photo: CD Langoya, IUCN

    An IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework

    Natural resource governance refers to the norms, institutions and processes that determine how power and responsibilities over natural resources are exercised, how decisions are taken and how people – including women, men, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities – participate in...
    Indigenous people Photo: Colectivo Sinestesia - UICN América del Sur

    Indigenous Peoples

    Indigenous peoples hold and manage a significant part of the Earth’s most biodiverse regions and play a vital role in conserving lands, seas and resources. They cultivate strong economic, cultural and spiritual relationships with their natural environments and have developed and often...
    Women in Community Garden, Uganda Photo: Maggie Roth

    Gender equality and women's empowerment

    Gender equality and equity are matters of fundamental human rights and social justice, as well as a pre-condition for sustainable development.?IUCN is committed to furthering gender equality and equity in order to build a Union that understands the importance of equal opportunity and...

    Quick reads

    Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

    Thumbnail_CC and Gender issues brief Photo: IUCN

    Gender and climate change

    Across societies the impacts of climate change affect women and men differently. Women are often responsible for gathering and producing food, collecting water and sourcing fuel for heating and...
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