The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) brings together states, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and some 10,000 scientists and experts in its six commissions from 181 countries, in a unique worldwide partnership. The IUCN secretariat comprises more than 1,000 staff in offices covering 42 countries around the world.

In 1969, Lao PDR's Ministry of Foreign Affairs became a state member of IUCN and in 1992 IUCN Lao PDR Country Office (IUCN Lao PDR) was established. IUCN Lao PDR falls within Lower Mekong Region Country Group, a management unit of the IUCN in the Asia region, under the umbrella of the global IUCN, with headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. As such, IUCN's work in Lao PDR supports and contributes to the IUCN global mission:

To influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that the use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

The IUCN Lao PDR country programme is guided by its Strategic Framework 2007-2011, which confirms its commitment to the overarching Lao programme goal:

To ensure that the ecosystems and natural resources of Lao PDR are effectively conserved and sustainably utilised in an equitable manner that contributes to the socio-economic development of the country.