The German government has officially recognised IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as an intergovernmental organisation, reaffirming the Union’s important role on the global environmental and development stage.
On Wednesday, the German Cabinet passed a regulation defining the legal status of IUCN as an “organisation created by intergovernmental agreement”. This decision recognises the official functions IUCN carries out on behalf of its Member States and affords the Union a range of rights and benefits. The new legal status will allow IUCN to build on its strong presence in the city of Bonn, home to the IUCN Environmental Law Centre. The regulation will now go to the ‘Bundesrat’ for ratification in March 2017.
“IUCN is grateful to the German government and warmly welcomes this important recognition,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “This opens up new opportunities to boost international cooperation on environmental issues. IUCN’s new legal status will reinforce IUCN’s already strong relationship with Germany. It will also allow us to strengthen our collaboration with key international partners based in Bonn, such as the UNFCCC, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species.”
“This decision recognises IUCN’s important role in global efforts to conserve nature. It also reaffirms the position of the city of Bonn as a hub of international cooperation and the headquarters for international institutions and organisations,” says the German Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks.
Founded in 1970, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in Bonn is recognised as a leading global centre of excellence in environmental law. The Centre houses a joint initiative between UNEP, FAO and IUCN providing web-based access to the three organisations’ environmental law information as well as two extensive libraries.
“This decision reaffirms Germany’s commitment to IUCN and to the Environmental Law Centre,” says Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre. “Germany and the city of Bonn have been excellent hosts for over four decades, and this recognition opens up new avenues of collaboration.”
IUCN and Germany have a long history of very close collaboration. The German government has been an IUCN State Member since 1958 and has provided significant support for IUCN’s work on issues including tiger conservation and protected areas.
In 2011, IUCN and Germany launched the Bonn Challenge – a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world's degraded and deforested lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. With over 136 million hectares pledged, the Challenge is within close reach of achieving its 2020 target.