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?

Ravilevu Nature Reserve, Taveuni, Fiji

IUCN summit delivers major commitments to save Earth’s most precious natural areas

Sydney, Australia – The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, the once-in-a-decade global forum on protected areas, closes today with the release of The Promise of Sydney. The Promise sets out an ambitious agenda to safeguard the planet’s natural assets, ranging from halting rainforest loss in the Asia-Pacific and tripling ocean protection off Africa’s coasts to a business commitment to plant 1.3 billion trees along the historic Silk Road.  | Dutch

19 Nov 2014 | International news release

Coral reef survey

'Game-changing visual record' of Great Barrier Reef published

IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney, November 14 2014 - The Catlin Seaview Survey, in which IUCN is a partner, announced today that a complete visual and data record from its expeditions along the Great Barrier Reef is now available to anyone to use through the Catlin Global Reef Record. …  

14 Nov 2014 | News story

The Marumaru Atua arriving on the Gold Coast, Australia, as part of the Mua Voyage to Sydney for the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014

Championing Ocean Issues at the Sydney World Park’s Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature will is holding its once in a decade World Parks Congress beginning November 12th. This year’s congregation of non-profits, private interests and agencies, all working on protected areas across the globe, will be unique for two important reasons. The event will have a much larger ocean focus than ever before, featuring over 250 ocean-related sessions joined together under a Marine Theme, and the Congress will be using technologies for ocean outreach and collaboration that are thoroughly new to the IUCN’s events. …  

14 Nov 2014 | News story