Our Members

Our Members and Associates are a diverse group of over 40 organisations and individuals including government, NGOs and Indigenous People’s organisations, working towards a shared vision for nature conservation in Australia.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The Australian Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is the State Member to IUCN and an important supporter of the committee. The department designs and implements the Australian Government’s policies and programs to protect and strengthen agriculture, water resources, the environment and our heritage.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. NPWS manages more than 870 NSW national parks and reserves, covering over 7 million hectares of land. The Department is committed to conservation of our state's biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions protects and conserves the state’s natural environment on behalf of the people of Western Australia. Its key responsibilities include conserving biodiversity and managing the state’s national parks, marine parks and other reserves, which cover a total area of more than 31 million hectares. 

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources 

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) leads the management of South Australia’s natural resources. The Department works across a diverse range of issues, including climate change, water security, the health of the River Murray, nature conservation, sustainable land management, built and cultural heritage, and the management of parks, botanic gardens and public lands. The Department works in partnership with the state’s eight natural resources management boards to advise, inform and support community and government decision-making and deliver services to communities.

Department of Environment and Science

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) recognises the enormous value a clean environment, innovative society and economy, and vibrant culture contributes to our lives. As a diverse organisation, the Department brings together key areas of work to achieve our objectives for a better Queensland. DES focuses on three areas: the environment, science and arts. 

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) creates liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities that support jobs and growth in Victoria. The Department recognises the link between the built and natural environment in the quality of our lives, and works to accommodate population growth while maintaining world-class liveability and protecting our heritage for future generations.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is an Australian Government statutory authority within the Environment portfolio. GBRMPA is responsible for the the long-term protection, ecologically sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef for all Australians and the international community, through the care and development of the Marine Park. GBRMPA implement a range of policies and programs, management strategies and legislative measures to work towards protecting this natural icon.

Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria is a statutory authority of the Victorian Government which is responsible for managing a diverse estate of more than 4 million hectares including 3,000 land and marine parks and reserves. These parks are home to more than 4,300 native plant and 948 native animal species. Parks Victoria’s estate attracts more than 100 million visits every year and they are committed to providing accessible, enjoyable, diverse programs and destinations while protecting and enhancing environmental and cultural values. Parks Victoria recognises the value and importance of working in partnership with Traditional Owners to manage parks and reserves in a culturally sensitive and ecologically appropriate way.

Zoos Victoria

Zoos Victoria is a world-leading zoo-based conservation organisation, dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction. Zoos Victoria comprise three zoos - Healesville SanctuaryMelbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Each one provides a unique and immersive experience that attracts visitors from around the world and inspire animal lovers of all ages. By strengthening the connection between people and wildlife, Zoos Victoria hopes to protect the future of animals and their homes. 

Australian Conservation Foundation

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) stands for ecological sustainability. ACF gets to the heart of environmental problems by tackling the underlying social and economic causes. The not-for-profit works across society to influence urgent, transformative action to deliver lasting change on the scale required to secure a sustainable environment. ACF brings people together to champion the environment and its critical role in sustaining all other systems and in achieving human wellbeing.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society 

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is the voice for Australia’s oceans. AMCS is Australia’s only national charity dedicated solely to protecting ocean wildlife – a community of ocean lovers across the nation working for healthy seas. AMCS is an independent charity, staffed by a committed group of scientists, educators and passionate advocates who have defended Australia’s oceans for over 50 years. 

Conservation Volunteers Australia 

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has partnered with individuals, businesses and governments in the conservation of our unique environment since 1982. In that time, CVA has welcomed hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around Australia and across the world and supported their participation in a diversity of important projects to protect and enhance our environment.

Earthwatch Australia

Earthwatch is an international environmental charity with the vision to create a society that lives in balance with nature by empowering people to save the natural world. Earthwatch is one of the world's leading funders of independent scientific field research and conservation in the not-for-profit sector connecting people to nature.

Environment Institute of Australia & New Zealand 

The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ), formed in 1987, is a leading professional body in Australia and New Zealand for environmental practitioners, and promotes independent and interdisciplinary discourse on environmental issues. The Institute is a non-profit, politically independent professional association, multi-disciplinary in membership and provides scope and opportunity for professional and academic interchanges across all sectors of the diverse environmental industry.

Institute of Foresters of Australia 

Established in 1935, the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) is a professional body with over 1100 members engaged in all branches of forest management and conservation in Australia. The Institute is strongly committed to the principles of sustainable forest management and the processes and practices which translate these principles into outcomes.

Environmental Defenders Offices Australia

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is the largest environmental legal centre in the Australia-Pacific, dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running groundbreaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy. EDO is an accredited community legal service and a non-government, not-for-profit organisation that uses the law to protect and defend Australia’s wildlife, people and places. 

The Wilderness Society 

The Wilderness Society (TWS) is a community-based environmental protection organisation. TWS works to safeguard our sources of clean water and air, to tackle devastating climate change, to create a safe future for life on Earth, and to give a better world to our children. The majority of TWS' work is in Australia, with a strong focus on natural environments and the role they play in keeping our world safe and liveable.


As the world’s largest independent conservation organisation, WWF continues to lead in the protection of our natural world and its precious resources, with over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, and supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. In Australia and throughout the oceanic region, WWF-Australia works with government, industry, communities and various other stakeholders to ensure the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. 

Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute

The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI) is an independent, not-for-profit Institute based in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area of Australia. The Institute conducts research, collaborates worldwide and engages with communities to develop innovative strategies for conservation and sustainability.

The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society Inc. 

The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society Inc. (ARCS) is a national not-for-profit dedicated to the protection, conservation and restoration of rainforests, biodiversity and World Heritage generally.

North Australian Land and Sea Management Alliance 

The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) is an Indigenous led not-for-profit company operating across north Australia which works to assist Indigenous people manage their country sustainably for future generations. NAILSMA is a leader in finding practical solutions to support Indigenous people to manage their land and sea resources into the future.

Penelope Figgis AO

Penelope Figgis AO was Director of the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) between 2011 and 2014, during which time she led the revitalisation of ACIUCN.

Penelope has been a leading member of the Australian environment movement for over 30 years. Since 2005 she has been Regional Vice Chair for the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and served on the Executive. Her other current positions include Trustee Parks Forum and Visiting Fellow Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University.

A political scientist by training Penelope has made significant contributions to environmental policy in Australia through governance of NGOs, writing, policy development, advocacy and public speaking. She has written and spoken extensively on protected area policy, World Heritage, conservation on private lands, and nature based tourism. As Vice Chair of WCPA she has built a major national network of leading biodiversity and protected area specialists across all sectors and in partnership with others has achieved real conservation outcomes in increased budgets for protected areas and indigenous employment in land and sea management, the promotion of connectivity conservation and incorporating ecosystems into climate change mitigation and adaptation responses.

She was the national lobbyist of the key national NGO, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) in the 1980s and later served seventeen years as Vice President of the governing Council. Other NGO roles include the governing councils of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. Penelope has served many years on statutory governing bodies including the boards of Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council, the Australian Tourist Commission, the Environment Protection Authority of New South Wales, the Great Barrier Reef Consultative Committee, Landcare Australia, and the Jenolan Caves Trust.

In 1994 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to conservation and the environment and in Penelope was given one of Australia’s highest honours, Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for service to the environment, nature conservation and sustainable tourism. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for outstanding contribution to the environment. In 2005 she was made an Honorary Life Member of ACF and in 2010 she was awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Award for Parks by the Parks Forum and listed on the Allen Strom Hall of Fame of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. In 2014, she was also made an ACIUCN honorary life member for her contributions to the organisation.

Penelope continues in her role as WCPA Vice Chair for Oceania.

Peter Cochrane

Peter has over twenty years experience in senior executive leadership and governance roles in the public and private sectors. He was elected in September 2016 to the IUCN Council to serve a four year term, nominated from Oceania. Peter is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and was a member of its Executive and Steering Committees (2014-2016).

He consults on environment and sustainability issues, and is currently an adviser to the national State of Environment Report 2016 focused on building its audience and utility, and its potential form post 2016.

He chairs the Steering Committee of the National Environmental Science Program’s Marine Biodiversity Hub and its Research Users Committee. He is a Director of Ecotourism Australia, TangaroaBlue Foundation, and chairs the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute. He sits on the Steering Group of the Protected Area Learning and Research Collaboration. Peter is an Adjunct Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. He is an associate with two consulting companies: Futureye and Empowering Engagements.

Peter was Director of National Parks and head of Parks Australia from 1999-2013. He was Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (1994-1999) and an adviser to two federal Ministers for Primary Industries and Energy (1990-94). He worked in the Australian National University Research School of Biological Sciences as a technical officer and departmental manager in plant ecology and physiology (1974-1990).


He has a BSc (ANU) and a Masters Public Policy (ANU).

Pam Eiser

Pam Eiser was the Executive Officer for ACIUCN from 1989 to 2011.

© 2020 Australian Committee for IUCN Inc.