IWMC’s mission is to:
1. Promote Sustainable Use as a viable conservation mechanism;
2. Promote respect for cultural diversity when instituting conservation programs; and
3. Protect the Sovereign Rights of independent nations when conservation measures are being considered.
IWMC believes that conservation works best when measures take account of community interests and respect national sovereignty. Trade can be an important aid to conservation when it is carefully managed because it provides incentives for people to take care of wildlife resources.
IWMC provides advice and support to governments, diplomats, politicians, organizations and individuals around the world, including fishery entities, sealers, whalers, reptile skins industries, wild animal farms, falconries, caviar companies, zoos and aquariums, ivory carvers and other artisans involved in the responsible and sustainable use of wild resources.
IWMC provides countries with guidance and advice on various aspects of the CITES Convention, on matters ranging from interpretations and procedural explanations to the issuance of permits. Additionally, IWMC has organized symposia and workshops on a range of wildlife issues in Asia and Africa, and participates with speakers at international wildlife conferences.
IWMC is an accredited organization with CITES, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and several other international bodies.