In 1982, an exploratory mission from the IUCN Headquarters laid the foundation for the IUCN Programme in Pakistan. In 1985, a one person IUCN Country Office was established in Karachi to initiate the implementation of the National Conservation Strategy (NCS). Since then IUCN Pakistan has grown into the largest country programme with the Country Office at Karachi, two programme offices at Islamabad and Quetta and five project field offices at Gwadar, Lasbela, Qila Saifullah, Ziarat and Murree.

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 ensure sustainable development in Pakistan, IUCN Pakistan aims at:

  • Integration of environment and development;
  • Facilitation for the creation of a supportive policy and legal framework;
  • Support to institutional and human resource development for    environment; and Increasing popular support for the environment.

IUCN works closely with the government at the national and provincial levels as well as with civil society at large. Following a two-pronged approach, IUCN advocates and technically assists the development of the conservation and sustainable development strategies; and, supports strategy implementation by providing assistance in policy and legislative reforms, capacity development, environmental assessment, awareness and education and selected field projects.

Pakistan Programme: A Diverse Portfolio

IUCN Pakistan’s key projects include the following:

In the past IUCN Pakistan has implemented following projects

  • Afghanistan Environmental Capacity Building
  • Balochistan Conservation Strategy
  • Building Coalitions for Change to Implement Pro-Poor Environmental Fiscal Reforms
  • Capacity Building for Institutions Related to Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
  • Capacity Building in Biodiversity and Impact Assessment [Asia]
  • Capacity Building of Conservation Constituency and Good Governance
  • Developing a National Wetlands Policy (under Pakistan Wetlands Programme)
  • Disaster risk, livelihoods and natural barriers: strengthening decision-making tools for disaster risk reduction - a comparative study from Northern Pakistan
  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education and National Forum on ESD
  • Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Appraisal
  • Environmental Assessment of CIDA Funded Project in Battagram Tehsil
  • Environmental awareness raising and education in Sindh
  • FATA Sustainable Development Plan
  • Groundwater Aquifer Rejuvenation Demonstration Pilot Project for Balochistan
  • Himalayan Region Water and Nature Initiative [Pakistan]
  • Improving livelihoods in Shigar through integrated planning and development of the cultural, natural and built environments
  • Institution of Technical Advisory Panel on Climate Change
  • Institutional Consolidation for the Coordinated and Integrated Monitoring of Natural Resources towards Sustainable Development and Environmental Conservation in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalayas Mountain Complex [Pakistan]
  • IUCN Balochistan Programme
  • Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability
  • Mountain Areas Conservancy Project
  • Northern Areas Conservation Strategy
  • Pakistan Environment Programme (PEP) {CIDA}
  • Pakistan Environment Programme (PEP) {RNE}
  • Post-Earthquake Reconstruction and Revitalization of Extension Services Management Academy (ESMA)
  • Program Support for Northern Pakistan (PSNP)
  • Programme Support for Northern Pakistan V
  • Punjab Sustainable Development Strategy (PSDS)
  • Reaching out to the stakeholders (dissemination of WCD report)
  • Road to Copenhagen: Strengthening Pakistan s Participation at COP 15
  • Sarhad Provincial Conservation Strategy (SPCS)
  • Support Local Level Policies favouring Livelihoods Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development Networking (SDNPK)
  • TA to Mangroves for the Future [Pakistan]
  • TA to NEC and RAR Projects in Lao PDR
  • WES Programme 2007 for Northern Areas

In addition, IUCN Pakistan maintains core capacity and services in the form of thematic programmes as part of the Country Office. Thematic expertise residing in IUCN Pakistan include climate change, coastal ecosystem, natural resource management, geographical information system, environment policy and governance, education for sustainable development, communication and outreach (ECO), and business and biodiversity. This expertise supports various projects to ensure timely delivery of quality outputs, and serve to internalize learning.

Organizational Structure

IUCN Pakistan is part of the Asia Regional Office that is based in Bangkok, Thailand. IUCN Asia is the Union’s largest regional programme, boasting offices in nine countries, over 100 projects and a large roster of members comprising 12 per cent of the Union’s global membership.

The Pakistan Programme is headed by the Country Representative, who is based at the Country Office in Karachi. Given its extended portfolio, IUCN maintains programme offices and several field offices in other parts of Pakistan. These offices support and oversee projects in their respective geographical areas.

Members and Partners

IUCN Pakistan is a membership based organization. It believes in working very closely with its members. In Pakistan, IUCN's membership has grown from eight in 1990 to 29 today. This includes the Government of Pakistan as the state member, 7 government organizations and 21 NGO members. Over 100 volunteers from Pakistan work on the six networks of IUCN’s Commissions.

The collaboration includes participation in program planning; joint projects; correlating initiatives; collaborative advocacy for key issues, and support in fund raising. The relationship with the membership has further evolved following the formation of Pakistan National Committee (PNC) of IUCN members. In addition to members, IUCN works with a variety of other partners. These include research and teaching institutions, government departments, chambers of commerce and industry, law networks, media, and NGOs.

Financial Support

From the mountains in the north to the coast in the south, IUCN Pakistan has programmes and multiple field offices across the country. Owing to this vast network, it has been the implementing agency of choice for major donors, including the Canadian International Development Agency, Royal Norwegian Embassy,  United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Department for International Development UK, Asian Development Bank, and the European Union. Since recent past, IUCN’s work is being increasingly supported by the federal and provincial governments.