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International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), formerly World Conservation Union, international organization founded in 1948 to encourage the preservation of wildlife, natural environments, and living resources. Its members include private individuals, nongovernmental organizations and governments and government agencies. The IUCN promotes research in the preservation of threatened species, ecology, sustainable development, and environmental law, education, and training. It was instrumental in crafting the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and it assesses the states of species, subspecies, and populations according to technical criteria to determine if they are threatened, and if so includes them on its Red List as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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