In South America, the IUCN has 106 Members, including renowned government agencies and NGOs, as well as international organisations with a strong presence in the region.
IUCN's worldwide recognition has resulted in the granting of a role as observer in the United Nations General Assembly, a status that is not shared with any other conservation organisation.
The Union's scientific consultancy supports a number of international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), UNESCO's Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
Being a Member of the IUCN means:
To increase your sphere of influence and collective voice
Through the Resolutions and Recommendations approved every four years in IUCN's World Conservation Congresses and through the National and Regional Committees network, the Members of the Union contribute with the orientation and creation of policies and conservation activities, as well as sustainable development at a national, regional and global scale.
The Union provides knowledge and convenes regional and global congresses and other discussion platforms on conservation issues. These spaces create the opportunity to evaluate and debate conservation challenges from the perspective of governments, civil society, academic sector and private sector.
The Regional and World Parks Congresses are examples of forums where agreements and political regulations are adopted for the management of protected areas, which allow the creation of a working schedule in this field.
Another example of spaces for dialogue fostered by the structure of the Union is the discussion of national and international political topics, such as the stand of a country in regard to the international conventions crucial topics. Topics such as the protection of traditional knowledge and access and distribution of benefits in the CBD, prevented deforestation in the UNFCCC, or the status of certain commercially relevant species in CITES.
To strengthen your network
By being part of a global association, Members have the possibility to share their work experiences and to learn from other's experiences through participation in different thematic networks. In South America, this process is particularly relevant, since seven countries have a national IUCN Member committee. There is also a regional committee where both, institutional Members as well as technical commissions participate, with the purpose of creating strategic norms for the Union's work in that part of the world.
To have access to knowledge and build your capacities
The Union is the largest network of knowledge on conservation and sustainable development, supported by its Member's abilities, expert Commissions and technical staff from the Secretariat. Their contributions are backed by thousands of publications (in print and online), accessible to the conservation community.
The IUCN is the author of very prestigious conceptual tools, such as:
- IUCN's Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas: The purpose of this standard is to locate and highlight those sites (KBAs) that significantly contribute to biodiversity. The criteria for KBAs includes biodiversity elements which range from the genetic level of species and ecosystems, but its aim does not include each one of the species or ecosystems within a KBA. The document may be downloaded from this link:https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/Rep-2016-005.pdf
- The categories for the definition of The Red List of Threatened Species has been the methodology used to define the conservation status of species at a worldwide level and to write a great variety of red books at national levels.
- The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria is a global standard that gathers information on the conservation status of ecosystems, and is applicable at local, national, regional, and global levels. The aim of this protocol is to support conservation, use of resources and management decisions though the identification of ecosystems in risk of losing biodiversity. The categories and criteria of the RLE are designed to be largely applicable to every type of ecosystem and geographic area; transparent, scientifically rigorous, and easily understood by policy and decision-makers and the general public.
- The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (GLPCA) has the aim of identifying the sites that have been successful in their conservation attempts by highlighting them as successful models. The GLPCA encourages the sharing of knowledge, tools and practices for conservation areas, with the aim of improving the contribution of these areas to sustainable development and nature conservation, and all related social, economic, cultural and spiritual values.
- The IUCN Protected Area Management Categories provide a criteria framework for its classification in relation to the permitted activities and use of resources.
- The Human Dependency on Nature Framework is one of the new knowledge 'baskets' being developed by IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). The main goal of this tool is to assess, document and communicate the role and importance of non-farmed natural/wild resources for communities’ food and nutrition security.
- The Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) is also an IUCN new knowledge 'basket' developed by the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, whose goal is to set standards and guidance for those who decide over the use of natural resources and the distribution of nature’s benefits. This tool is being developed based on a set of governance values and principles to support more just decision-making. The working document can be found in this link: https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/content/documents/nrgf_update.pdf
Likewise, the IUCN has helped 75 countries prepare and implement national biodiversity conservation strategies.
To participate in the definition and execution of the Programme
IUCN Programme is a reflection on the collective effort of its members, since it is designed and approved in the IUCN Members’ Assembly every four years. In South America, the Members are encouraged to, not only take part in the development of the program, but also in its implementation. This way, the Members participate in projects and initiatives at a regional scale, which grow the programme.
To increase your sphere of influence and collective voice another example of spaces for dialog fostered by the structure of the Union is the discussion of national and international political topics, such as the stand of a country in regard to the international conventions crucial topics.