The International Union for the Protection of Nature (UIPN) is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO). It is known today as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN, because it is involved as much in the protection as in the conservation of biodiversity on a planetary level. It is an organization that deserves to be better known.
Role of the IUPN
It was in 1948, and more precisely on October 5, that the IUPN was founded which, in 1956, became the IUCN for International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which is still its current name. Its headquarters are located in Switzerland, in the town of Gland in the heart of the canton of Vaud.
Its main objectives are:
- The enhancement of nature,
- Nature conservation,
- The use of nature by sustainable and efficient means,
- The implementation of natural solutions capable of meeting challenges at the planetary level, in the areas of food, development and climate,
- Harmonization of nature conservation efforts among countries around the world.
To ensure the protection of nature as provided for in the objective ofIUCN (formerly UIPN), there are over 1,000 people around the world who work for this NGO. It also brings together more than 10,000 experts from many countries and government agencies. This is a advisory body considered by the scientific community as a benchmark.
Main actions of the IUPN
The actions in which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature is investing are numerous and carried out with a masterful hand. Among his contributions, we can for example cite the categorization of protected areas. Thus, for each of them, account is taken of their level of protection, both with regard to their natural and cultural heritage, with the aim of conserving and / or protecting natural resources, biological diversity or again the cultural resources associated with it.
It is for example also the UIPN / IUCN which establishes this famous red list of threatened species, unfortunately stretching more and more rapidly in recent years.
What is the Red List of Threatened Species?
This list is updated frequently, with a metronome regularity, and can be consulted on the official website of this NGO. It is an inventory, a sort of first-rate indicator on which the whole world points a sharp eye.
This reference tool indicates the level of threat weighing on a species or a subspecies and the type of specific threat, the number of threatened species on the planet as well as the number of observed disappearances.
Thanks to this red list, we now know that a quarter of the 120,372 species that have been the subject of a study are threatened. The ranking is established in nine levels to know :
- NE: Not evaluated,
- DD: Insufficient data,
- LC: Least concern,
- NT: Near threatened,
- VU: Vulnerable,
- EN: Endangered,
- CR: Critically endangered,
- EW: Extinct in the wild,
- EX: Off.
Updating the red list is still subject to extensive consultation between experts and the study of the different criteria taken into account requires several years.
List of IUCN programs in France
In order to respond to the various challenges of biodiversity and the preservation of nature for ” a just world », The French committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has set itself a program which currently counts 7 capital points.
Because in some countries, particularly in Africa, the means are not sufficient to finance or provide the best answers to the challenges of local development and its conservation, the Committee for our national territory takes charge of a number of calls for projects and this has already made it possible to co-finance actions for more than 13 million euros. In this program, we can for example note the conservation of African turtles, the conservation of the African black rhinoceros, the fight against climate change, the strengthening of environmental projects, etc.
Education and communication
This program aims to raise awarness to the problems which directly affect all biodiversity and to tend towards a behavioral change through targeted education and the encouragement of government and citizen action by encouraging all good initiatives in favor of nature.
The alarm signal is sounding! The extinction of species is now at a record rate because of the various human activities that directly impact the biosphere. The situation is extremely serious and affects the plant world as much as the animal world. 7,500 experts are working hard on assessing the extinction risks of each species in order to find solutions in order to conserve them.
This program concerns marine and land areas whose diversity is at the heart of an important support work. The protected areas commission also participated in the implementation of the law of April 14, 2006 on the modernization of national parks and the creation of other protected areas. The protection of remarkable spaces is at the heart of this program, which aims to find appropriate solutions so that these sites are protected.
This may concern land, the management of natural spaces, the prohibition in specific areas of human activities with a detrimental impact. Legal provisions therefore make it possible, thanks to these actions, to protect biodiversity certain sectors whose biological interest is indisputable, but the protection status currently covers only 25% of the areas of interest.
A haven of true natural wealth, the Overseas Territories are one of the geographic priorities for the French Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature because the threats weighing on these territories are multiple, especially since the degradation of many of them has already largely done its work. Unfortunately, the resources deployed (both financial and human) are not up to the challenges in this area. Also, IUCN is mobilizing – and mobilizing all stakeholders – to save these biodiversity and help local associations that are very involved.
Mountains, wetlands, sea, coast, fresh water, forests are all severely damaged ecosystems that attract the attention of IUCN. Due to its geographical location, our national territory represents a kind of crossroads in terms of ecology. Countless species take at least a break here during their migratory movements. As for our maritime domain, it is placed on the second step of the world podium with more than 10.9 million km ².
All these sites of a great natural wealth are weakened. IUCN is therefore working on enhance, to them preserve and to manage these ecosystems sustainably, thanks to an Ecosystem Management Commission comprising more than 100 experts.
The nature preservation being possible only if one demonstrates consistency, biodiversity must be included in policies, whether local or regional. Also, companies, communities, ministries, public establishments, must be able to mobilize and work in the same direction. The IUCN is counting on various projects such as raising awareness among company employees, the law on biodiversity, community initiatives, and specialized environmental courts.
It is encouraging to note the number of programs set up by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and its investment in the protection of biodiversity and natural resources. But nature is already very deteriorated, and this severe suffering implies that countless actions are urgently implemented at the global level and that each of us becomes fully aware of our responsibility to change our behavior without delay.