Governance is a critical determinant of the social equity, effectiveness and sustainability of natural resource use and conservation. Improving natural resource governance, including securing rights and sharing power and responsibilities, benefits both people and nature. Despite this, governance remains relatively poorly understood and weakly addressed in many natural resource and conservation contexts. The Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) is an IUCN knowledge product created to provide a robust, inclusive and credible approach to assessing and improving natural resource governance at multiple levels and in diverse contexts. The overarching goal of the NRGF is to set standards and guidance for decision makers at all levels to make better and more just decisions on the use of natural resources and the distribution of nature’s benefits, following good-governance principles. The NRGF builds on and complements the governance-related work of multiple IUCN programmes, Commissions and Members. The central component of the NRGF is a comprehensive yet concise framework that distils key best-practice elements of effective and equitable governance relevant to conservation and natural resource management. This framework is designed to serve as a knowledge resource in itself and as a basis for a range of applications to understand and improve natural resource governance in diverse contexts. This publication presents the NRGF as it has been developed to date through a robust and inclusive process involving IUCN experts, Members and partners. The framework comprises two cross-cutting values, a set of 10 key principles for equitable and effective governance and criteria that are important for the fulfilment of each of the principles.