Advancing principles of environmental ethics in law and life.

Ethics at IUCN

"Ethical, spiritual, and philosophical purposes and programmes are not a sideline of IUCN - they are its heart."

Ron Engel, founder of the IUCN Ethics Specialist Group

CEEL is working with the Ethics Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law to advance ethical engagement at the world's oldest and largest international environmental organization to urgently address our global crises in conservation and governance.

This page will follow the developments of a Proposal

that calls for ethics and values to be the theme for the IUCN Congress in Marseille in 2020, including key documents, Resolutions, endorsements, and supporting member and non-member organizations.

“The Union is concerned with values more, I would say, even than with science. For science should be the servant not the master of mankind. Our strategy must be firmly based in realism, but it must move ahead with vision. We should be the architects of guided change (call it development if you will) in the direction of increasing ...the good life.”
Duncan Poore (1925-2016), IUCN Acting Director General, 1976-77, and previously IUCN Scientific Director
"IUCN’s mission is to “Influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.” To satisfy this mission, we cannot marginalize environmental issues and treat them separately from the overall challenge of just and sustainable global governance. The aim of human civilization, if it is to have a future, is sustaining the life of the planet with dignity for all, and this cannot happen if we do not have the political commitment to make the sacrifices and new initiatives required. Unless we marshal the political will to act on the values of biodiversity and ecological integrity, we do not confront the international retreat from cooperation on this and every other major issue facing the planet."

The Draft Proposal
The Contributions of IUCN to Global Ethics
Key IUCN Resolutions
(in development)
Contact Working Group Authors
With the support of the following IUCN Member Organizations: