Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

About marine and polar conservation

Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and support 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.

It is estimated that more than 1 million species live on coral reefs alone, and as many as 10 million in the deep seas.

The threats facing the marine environment are numerous and complex yet less than 2% of the oceans are protected.

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What's new?

Trawler, Hobart harbour, Australia

At last some good news for the high seas: Progress towards a legally-binding treaty to safeguard the ocean beyond national boundaries

In the early hours of a snowy Saturday morning in New York, United Nations delegates took a historic step towards safeguarding the global ocean commons. Government representatives at a UN meeting agreed to launch a formal preparatory process for a global and legally-binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. …  

26 Jan 2015 | News story

Steve Edwards of IUCN's Business and Biodiversity Programme

A balancing act

Steve Edwards of IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity Programme explains how government and business are looking at ways to compensate for the impacts of development on biodiversity. …  

15 Jan 2015 | Article

Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General

Inger Andersen takes up her duties as IUCN Director General

This week IUCN extends a warm welcome to Inger Andersen as she takes on her new role as Director General. …  

13 Jan 2015 | News story