The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a union of Members made up of governments and civil society organizations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary for human progress, economic development and nature conservation to be carried out in harmony. Established in 1948, IUCN has grown over the years to become the largest and most diverse environmental network in the world. It has the experience, resources and weight of its 1,400 Member organizations and the skills of more than 17,000 experts grouped together in six commissions dedicated to the conservation of species, environmental law, protected areas, economic and social policies, ecosystem management, and education and communication.