IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme (GMPP) pioneers pragmatic solutions for marine environmental challenges. The Programme highlights science and technology for the sustainable management and conservation of marine ecosystems and resources. It connects scientists and conservationists with decision-makers in governments and with private and public sector partners across its extensive network to develop policy, laws, and best practices.
GMPP staff based in the IUCN Washington, D.C. Office focuses its work, in collaboration with Commission Members, Members and partner organizations throughout the world, on climate change mitigation and adaptation, marine protected areas (MPA), ocean governance, fisheries management issues, UN oceans debates as well as Arctic and Antarctic marine conservation. GMPP also moderates the Washington D.C. Marine Community (DCMC) - a platform for discussion and sharing of marine conservation issues.
GMPP provides scientific information on the impact of climate change on the marine environment, offers policy recommendations amongst other on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) to international processes such as the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is currently exploring the role and potential of natural coastal ecosystems as carbon sinks for climate change mitigation.
GMPP participates in a number of policy meetings on behalf of IUCN, advising governments and fisheries agencies amongst other on fisheries management issues. Meetings including those of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on Fisheries, U.N. United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) and meetings on the U.N Fish Stocks Agreement.
On the MPA front, GMPP works closely with the World Commission of Protected Areas (WCPA) – Marine in developing MPA management best practice and providing guidance for site managers around the world. GMPP additionally acts as a scientific advisory body in developing marine world heritage sites.
GMPP is providing independent scientific advice and recommendations to various Antarctic fora with respect to adequate protection of the intrinsic values of these ecosystems and biodiversity as well as non-material wilderness. GMPP works towards the establishment by 2012 of a comprehensive and representative network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean.