RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestine has been accepted as a full member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Palestine Wildlife Society said on Sunday.

Executive Director Imad al-Atrash said the Bethlehem-based group was notified of Palestine’s entry to the global body, founded in 1948 as the world’s first international environmental organization.

Since the group joined the West Asia Union of Wildlife Societies in 2006, it has worked together with the PA agriculture and tourism ministries to set a strategy to protect Palestine’s nature, he said.

Palestine has been working to join international agencies since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for a full seat at the United Nations on Sept. 23, 2011.

The bid stumbled at the Security Council, but UN cultural agency UNESCO voted to admit Palestine as a full member on Oct. 31.