German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Profile: IUCN

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
founded in 1948


IUCN has over 1,000 members, including 84 governments, 117 government agencies and over 900 non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Its German members are the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, BfN, GIZ (as an associate member), 14 German NGOs and five German sections of international NGOs. Membership is open to organisations, although individuals can work in IUCN commissions. Legally speaking, IUCN is an NGO under Swiss civil law.


Conservation and sustainable use of natural resources by developing the scientific foundations for nature conservation; international lobbying; advice to governments and NGOs.


The IUCN had a key hand in drafting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and wields influence through technical and policy advice and with policy recommendations to the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). It is similarly influential in relation to CITES and the Ramsar Convention. IUCN also works closely with the TRAFFIC network, UNFCCC, UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee, UNCCD and other international programmes.

IUCN operates many thematic and regional programmes and has six commissions, on Ecosystem Management, Environmental Law, Education and Communication, Environmental, Social and Economic Policy, Protected Areas, and Species Survival. Roughly every four years, IUCN holds a World Conservation Congress (WCC); this also serves as a general assembly for IUCN members. IUCN’s members are organised in regions. The last WCC saw the election of Professor Manfred Niekisch of the University of Greifswald, Germany, as one of the Regional Councillors for the West Europe region.

IUCN also has observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.


IUCN World Headquarters
28, Rue Mauverney
1196 Gland
Tel.: +41-22-9990000
Fax: +41-22-9990002



IUCN Regional Office for Pan-Europe and Permanent Representative to EU
Boulevard Louis Schmidt 64
1040 Bruxelles
Tel.: + 32-2-7328299
Fax: + 32-2-7329499


BfN activities:

BfN is itself a member of IUCN and works at various levels in a number of thematic areas. One special area of close cooperation is the European Green Belt project. Some BfN staff are members of IUCN expert groups.

Last Change: 20/01/2011