We support science-based conservation action that saves animals, plants and fungi from extinction.
IUCN Save Our Species supports science-based conservation action on the ground that saves animals, plants and fungi from extinction. We focus our efforts where they will have the biggest impact by funding frontline conservation organisations across the world who have unique knowledge of their region and the local biodiversity.
Our projects prioritise the species most in need, those that have been assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), and its hundreds of specialists, also help us develop and select projects in line with globally agreed conservation strategies.
We never look at species in isolation. In order to save threatened species with sustainable, long-term results, we need to tackle key threats that are driving the decline of their populations. Local communities do not always understand why and how they should protect wildlife. As many rely on it and their shared habitat to generate income, it is thus essential for any project to understand the local economy. By supporting the development of alternative livelihoods, we engage local communities in supporting the conservation work.
This is why all of our conservation projects have a three-legged approach, focusing on Species, Habitat and People.
Our founder used to say:
Wildlife conservation is complex, involving thousands of Civil Society Organisations without whom forest patches or populations of unique species would disappear forever. These people are modern-day heroes. Very often a small grant helps them make a big difference. IUCN Save Our Species supports those people. Those who sometimes risk their lives fighting against illegal wildlife trade or opposing projects that destroy our natural heritage.
IUCN Save Our Species works from IUCN’s Headquarters based in Switzerland, and is implemented through IUCN Regional and country offices.
Assess – Plan – Act
IUCN and the Species Survival Commission (SSC) approach conservation efforts by taking into account three essential steps: Assess, Plan and Act.
Assess: this step is about assessing the conservation status of species, their distribution, their population size and trends, and their main threats. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is the main tool used in this process.
Plan: this part of the process enables the development of conservation strategies to protect species. In order to be effective, these recovery programmes must bring together a broad array of stakeholders, perspectives and expertise, from governments to local communities alongside species experts.
Act: in the last step of the process, the IUCN Save Our Species programme delivers actions on the ground that save species, and implement an array of activities that ultimately improves the lives of the local community.
Who is IUCN?
IUCN is the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. IUCN is the only environmental organization with official Observer status at the UN General Assembly.
Established in 1948, today, IUCN represents nearly 1’400 members, including most States and government agencies of our world, as well as non-governmental and indigenous peoples organizations. It has a network of 15’000 conservation scientists and academics, most of whom participate in the work of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. As the #1 conveners when it comes to biodiversity, we are able to bring together governments, the private sector and civil societies to create the science and policies needed to foster the conservation actions that will have the most positive and sustainable impact for nature.
IUCN Save Our Species is both IUCN’s change agent of and its action arm. We transform IUCN’s science into concrete actions on the ground. IUCN Save Our Species and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are both part of the IUCN Global Species Programme.
Head; Species Conservation Action
Coordination and Support Associate