Issues Briefs

IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues central to IUCN’s work. They are aimed at policy-makers, journalists or anyone looking for an accessible overview of the often complex issues related to nature conservation and sustainable development.

Latest Issues Briefs

thumbnail_natural World Heritage_issues brief Photo: IUCN

November 2018


One in five (23%) sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List are natural sites, most often protected areas such as national parks or nature reserves. Natural World Heritage sites are globally recognised...

Themes: Protected Areas, World Heritage

Thumbnail_Deep-sea mining Photo: IUCN

July 2018


Deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 m which covers about 65% of the Earth’s surface.  There is growing interest...

Themes: Business, Marine

thumbnail_IAS and sustainable development_issues brief Photo: IUCN

July 2018


Alien or non-native species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by humans, either intentionally or accidentally, into areas outside their natural range. Some of these species become...

Themes: Global Policy, SDGs, SDGs, Species, Invasive species

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Issues brief -  Palm oil and biodiversity Photo: IUCN

June 2018


Palm oil is derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates with abundant water. Three-quarters of total palm oil produced...

Themes: Biodiversity, Business, Forests, Species

thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands Photo: thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands

November 2017


Peatlands are a type of wetlands that occur in almost every country on Earth, currently covering 3% of the global land surface. The term ‘peatland’ refers to the peat soil and the wetland habitat...

Themes: Climate Change, Ecosystems

Seamount conservation Seamount conservation Photo: IUCN

April 2017


Seamounts are underwater mountains of volcanic origin that rise from the seafloor. Regarded as hotspots of biological diversity in the ocean, seamounts serve as spawning sites for many species....

Themes: Climate Change, Marine, Ocean Governance, Seamounts

Thumbnail_CC and Species issues brief Photo: IUCN

November 2015


The combined effects of human-induced global warming and ocean acidification constitute an unprecedented threat to biodiversity and humanity alike. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC...

Themes: Climate Change, Species

Issues Brief - Oceans and climate change Issues Brief - Oceans and climate change  Photo: IUCN

November 2017


At the front line of climate change, the ocean, the coastlines and coastal communities are being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG)...

Themes: Climate Change, Marine

Thumbnail_CC and Water issues brief Photo: IUCN

November 2015


Water and weather, the delicate balance between evaporation and precipitation, is the primary cycle through which climate change is felt. As our climate changes, droughts, floods, melting glaciers,...

Themes: Climate Change, Water


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