Marine and Polar

The ocean covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and supports an extraordinarily diverse world. Only a fraction of it has been discovered so far and much of ocean life remains a mystery which IUCN experts are striving to unveil.  


Oceans need our care



375 billion

US $ each year estimated for coral's resources and services


8 million+

tons of plastic end up in oceans each year

Protected areas


of the ocean is protected

How we engage

IUCN works to ensure that coastal, marine and polar ecosystems are restored and maintained, and that any use of their resources is sustainable and equitable. IUCN also makes sure that the conservation of these ecosystems is integrated into national climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.


  • Stranded turtle Photo: Terra Conscious

    Collaborative marine stranding network: Ocean Watch - Goa


    In recent years, with increasing social awareness and interest in marine science, there has been an increase in reporting of stranding incidents of marine species in the media. In an effort to systematically document such marine stranding incidents along the...

  • Corals Red Sea Photo: mindgrow [CC BY-SA 2-0]. from flickr

    IUCN lists 15 new sites as world’s best protected areas


    Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 24 November 2018 (IUCN) – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has admitted 15 new natural sites to the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas – the first global standard recognising best practice in...

  • Photo: Volunteers were collecting the trash from the beach in Vung Ha islet, Ha Long Bay © IUCN Viet Nam

    Zero waste programme: mutual benefits for both the environment and the private sector


    Through the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance (HLCBA), a USAID funded initiative to address the environmental problems in Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago, IUCN and its partners are influencing the business sector, especially boat cruises and travel agents, to raise...


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