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    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. ?

    Home

    Oceans need our care

     

    Coral

    375 billion

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

    Plastics

    12 million+

    tons of plastic end up in oceans each year

    Protected areas

    7,44%

    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.


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    • In the spotlight:

      Marine News Magazine Issue 15 is out!

      We are pleased to circulate the latest edition of Marine News magazine; a 64-page review of all the activities on marine and coastal conservation happening across the Union, with spectacular images of this work happening around the globe.?

    • In the spotlight:

      Ocean deoxygenation

      In December 2019, IUCN released the largest peer-reviewed study conducted so far on ocean deoxygenation, featuring the work of 67 scientific experts from 51 institutes.? Driven by eutrophication as a result of nutrient run-off from land and deposition of nitrogen from the burning of fossil fuels, deoxygenation is expected to impact a wide range of marine organisms and alter the balance of life in the oceans. The report serves as the ultimate wake-up call needed to dramatically raise our ambitions and immediately curb our emissions of carbon dioxide and other powerful greenhouse gases.

    • In the spotlight:

      Ocean Risk Report

      May 2018 saw the release of Ocean Connections, a new report that?examines the impacts of rising ocean temperatures and other stressors such as ocean acidification – the decrease in pH of the ocean – and deoxygenation – a reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the ocean – on the marine environment and human life, and their potential consequences for society.? The report was released at the Ocean Risk Summit in Bermuda as part of a collaboration with XL Catlin global (re)insurance company.

    • In the spotlight:

      Halting Marine Biodiversity Loss by Closing The Plastic Tap

      Every year, an estimated one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die from plastic pollution. In celebration of?World Wildlife Day, IUCN has produced this photo story to raise awareness about the fundamental importance of tackling plastic pollution in order to protect our marine species and effectively strive towards sustainable development.

    • In the spotlight:

      Ocean Warming Report

      Explaining Ocean Warming: Causes, scale, effects and consequences was released to the world’s media in September 2016 at the IUCN Congress in Hawaii.? This 460-page publication offers a comprehensive and up-to-date look at the effects of ocean warming from the perspective of major ecosystems and species groups.? Drawing on the work of over 80 scientists from 12 countries, it sets out the likely nature and scale of changes to come and also looks at the probable economic consequences ocean warming poses as well as associated risks to human health and well-being.

    News

    Follow IUCN Marine

    Publications

    Learn more

    Marine plastics on beach Photo: Peter Charaf

    "Close the Plastic Tap" Programme

    Every year, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced, half of which is used to design single-use items such as shopping bags, cups and straws. At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea...
    Panama Porkfish Photo: Octavio Aburto

    Marine Protected Areas

    IUCN engages in advocating for the expansion of the MPA network through reliable science and by engaging with local stakeholders.

     

    Sargasso Sea Photo: Don Kincaid

    International ocean governance

    IUCN's work on ocean governance covers many of the issues relating to the sustainable use and management of coastal, transboundary and international waters from large marine ecosystems to the high seas.

     

    New Coral Growing on Old Photo: Henry Wolcott

    Climate Change and the Ocean

    Climate change is severely and rapidly impacting species, ecosystems and people around the globe. Climate change and ocean acidification are jeopardizing food security, shoreline protection, the provision of income, livelihood sources and sustainable economic development. IUCN's work...

    Quick reads

    Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

    Deoxygenation Photo: IUCN

    Ocean deoxygenation

    Globally, oceans have lost around 2% of dissolved oxygen since the 1950s and are expected to lose about 3–4% by the year 2100 under a business-as-usual scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway...
    thumbnail_Governing areas beyond national jurisdiction issues brief Photo: IUCN

    Governing areas beyond national jurisdiction

    Nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean is beyond national jurisdiction – where no single state has authority. This area reaches depths of over 10 km and represents 95% of the Earth’s total habitat by...
    Thumbnail_Deep-sea mining Photo: IUCN

    Deep-sea mining

    Deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 m which covers about 65% of the Earth’s surface.  There is growing interest...
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