The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN, or world conservation union) was establish at the conference which was hold in Fontainebleau of France and co-hold by the United Nations Educational，Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the French government on October 5th in 1948, and named as International Union for the Protection of Nature at that time while has been changed name as International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in Edinburgh. The head office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources locates in Gland, Switzerland.
The purpose and task of this organization is that: through various ways to prevent the plant and animal resources of land and sea from damage, keep ecological balance so as to meet human needs of the present and the future; study the problems existing in the works of nature and natural resources protection, take protective measures to nature and natural resources based on the information materials from the monitors; encourage government agencies and civil organizations to pay attention to the work of nature and natural resources; help to work with the planning project of nature conservation and the work programs organized by the World Wildlife Fund; set up the Nature Conservation Development Centers, the Environmental Law Centers and the Nature Conservation Control Centers in Switzerland, Germany and Britain respectively; pay attention to contact and cooperate with the relative International Organizations.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources holds a Conference every three years. Up to November, 1998, this organization was consisted of 74 of government members, 110 government agencies and 706 non-governmental organizations (NGO). On October 20, 1996, China was to be a government member of this organization. The main publications are the World Conservation Strategy, the Iucn Bulletin and the Un List of Nature Parks and Protected Areas.