IUCN logo


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) brings governments, NGOs, the UN, business and industry together to provide advice on policies, laws and best practices for conservation and sustainable development issues, including the fight against wildlife trafficking.

Together with our network of more than 8,000 volunteer scientists in IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) we provide the latest knowledge on the sustainable use of wild species, including those targeted for wildlife trade. With our partners we produce The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species – the global standard for assessing species’ extinction risk.

In 2013 IUCN and the government of Botswana hosted the African Elephant Summit resulting in elephant range states, ivory transit states and major ivory consumer states committing to urgent measures to protect African elephants and reduce illegal trade in ivory.

We also convened the Asian Rhino Range State Meeting in 2013 resulting in the Bandar Lampung Declaration in which range states agreed to actions to increase the populations of Asian Rhino species by at least 3% annually by 2020.

Our SSC Specialist Groups provide scientific expertise on many other species affected by illegal trade including pangolins, tigers, pythons, sharks and timber tree species.

IUCN provides independent, objective scientific information to conventions such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In collaboration with TRAFFIC, a joint IUCN and WWF programme, we provide an analysis of proposals submitted by CITES Parties to amend the Convention’s Appendices.

We also engage in on-the-ground conservation through our Specialist Groups and Save Our Species (SOS), a global partnership that supports several projects involving species threatened by trade.