Only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater; about two-thirds of it is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps and we have long over-stretched this precious resource.



Water is the source of all life and
needs to be managed carefully


for people

+ 50 %

increase in global water demand by 2030

for nature

- 80%

decline in freshwater biodiversity since 1970

for security


of all natural disasters are water-related

How we engage

Our work focuses on water governance that integrates the needs of people and nature, the implementation of sustainable water resource management to secure water-related ecosystem services and conserve freshwater biodiversity, and support increased investment in ecosystems as natural water infrastructure. 


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  • In the spotlight:

    IKEA Foundation & IUCN: Land Health

    Unsustainable agricultural practices can be devastating for our land, biodiversity and climate. The IKEA Foundation and IUCN have joined a partnership to help accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture by improving land health.





    #SustainableAgriculture #LandHealth 

  • In the spotlight:

    World Wetlands Day 2022

    A call to take action for wetlands is the focus of this year’s #WorldWetlandsDay campaign. An appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded.


    Wetlands Action for People and Nature


  • In the spotlight:

    Water & Climate Pavilion at COP26

    On the road to COP26 in Glasgow, IUCN along with SIWI, AGWA, CDP, and GWP are leading a historic effort to mobilize the water community and partners in the global climate action community to debut a first-ever Water & Climate Pavilion at the COP. 



    #Water4Climate #COP26 #ClimateAction

  • In the spotlight:

    Water at the IUCN Congress

    For the first time, freshwater was featured as its own thematic focus at the IUCN Congress. Ensuring adequate quality, availability and accessibility of water is vital for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being and socio-economic development, and contributing to peace, security, and the maintenance of healthy ecosystems.


    #IUCNCongress #ForNature

  • In the spotlight:

    Wetlands and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

    On World Environment Day 5 June 2021, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration was officially launched. Along with WWF, BirdLife International, Wetlands International, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), IUCN is committed to restoring wetlands in the coming decade.



    Watch our video and find out why. #WorldEnvironmentDay #GenerationRestoration #PartnersForWetlands 


  • Launch SUSTAIN Pro Morogoro Tanzania February 2022 Photo: IUCN

    Launch of SUSTAIN Pro


    Transitioning to sustainable food systems is vital to staying within planetary boundaries, feeding a growing population and combatting climate change. Today IUCN launched SUSTAIN Pro, a 10-year initiative aimed at addressing livelihood inequality,...

  • Woman holding sea cucumber, Zanzibar Woman holding sea cucumber, Zanzibar Photo: Raphaela Legouvello

    Aquaculture and Nature-based Solutions: new report


    A new report from the AquaCoCo project works to identify synergies between sustainable development of coastal  communities, aquaculture, and marine and coastal conservation. It examines the emerging concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS)...

  • The Buna, Velipoje Protected Landscape, Albania The Buna, Velipoje Protected Landscape, Albania Photo: IUCN/Arber Xhaferaj

    Safeguarding the wetlands in the Buna delta


    To celebrate the 2022 World Wetlands Day, the Living Buna project partners release two videos portraying the efforts of the local community to safeguard the wetlands in the Buna River delta in Albania.

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Learn more

Wise Up Photo: © shutterstock Vladimir

WISE-UP to Climate

WISE-UP or 'Water Infrastructure Solutions from Ecosystem Services Underpinning Climate Resilient Policies and Programmes'


Peat bog on the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the Cuillin mountain range in the background Photo: ©Shutterstock/Helen Hotson

Water for Climate Impact Programme

The Water for Climate Impact Programme aims to catalyse investment into aquatic ecosystems, particularly peatlands, wetlands and coastal ecosystems. To help secure capital* for the new programme, IUCN is looking to identify a pipeline of bankable projects that contribute to the protection...
Cover: Women as change-makers Photo: ©IUCN Water

New report

Women as change-makers in the governance of shared waters


Sugarcane grower, SUSTAIN Initiative, Tanzania Photo: Maria Ana Borges

SUSTAIN 2014-2019

The Sustainability and Inclusion Strategy for Growth Corridors in Africa was created to implement climate-resilient landscape development in Tanzania and Mozambique and, ultimately, to support the transition from business-as-usual to economic trajectories that combine growth with...

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

Gender-based violence and the environment - an IUCN Issues Brief Photo: IUCN

Gender-based violence and the environment

Evidence shows that there are direct links between environmental pressures and gender-based violence, and that the degradation of nature, competition over increasingly scarce resources and...
thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands Photo: thumbnail_iucn_issues_cc_peatlands

Peatlands and climate change

Peatlands are a type of wetland which occur in almost every country and are known to cover at least 3% of global land surface. The term ‘peatland’ refers to the peat soil and the wetland habitats...
Thumbnail_CC and Water issues brief Photo: IUCN

Water and climate change

Water and weather, the delicate balance between evaporation and precipitation, is the primary cycle through which climate change is felt. As our climate changes, droughts, floods, melting glaciers,...
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