Our role in the IUCN: Working together for nature conservation

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) was founded in 1948. It is an independent organization and is the largest and most multi-faceted environmental network in the world. The following six commissions deal with a full range of issues:

  • World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)
  • Commission on Environmental Law (CEL)
  • Commission on Education and Communication (CEC)
  • Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP)
  • Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM)
  • Species Survival Commission (SSC). The SSC is also responsible for compiling the “Red Lists”

More than 1400 member organizations and around 16,000 experts contribute their knowledge, their resources and their outreach to develop and implement solutions for ecological challenges. They include government ministries, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, and organizations of indigenous peoples. Austria currently boasts seven IUCN members, including for example the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility and Technology, the Austrian League for Nature Conservation (Österreichische Naturschutzbund) or WWF.

Schönbrunn Zoo became a member of IUCN in 2021. For decades we have been leading, supporting and funding national and international scientific projects on species protection and nature conservation. In captive breeding and re-introduction projects, such as those for the Ural owl, the bearded vulture and the bald ibis, we can contribute our direct expertise. We also support species protection projects in the field, including the Giant panda in China, the norther river terrapin in Bangladesh, the Brazilian tapir in Brazil, polar bears in the Arctic and orangutans on Borneo.

Captive breeding of threatened animal species is an internationally recognized tool to help preserve these species and is also explicitly listed as such in the Convention on Biological Diversity. We are also strongly engaged in research and, above all, education in all manner of species protection issues.