Cephalopholis fulva

Global Marine and Polar Programme

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.

Marine and Polar News


The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 will take place 1-10 September in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

Countdown begins to the world’s leading environmental summit

Gland, Switzerland, 1 September 2015 (IUCN) – Today marks one year to the opening of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, the world’s largest and most inclusive environmental decision-making forum that will define the future path for nature conservation. …   | French | Spanish

01 Sep 2015 | News story


IUCN Independent Observer follows whale protection during offshore oil and gas mapping in Sakhalin

IUCN has seconded an Independent Observer to follow the implementation of monitoring and mitigation measures during a seismic survey that just began close to the main western gray whale feeding area near Sakhalin Island, on the Russian coast, just north of Japan. …   | Russian

09 Jul 2015 | News story

Finger coral in shallw water, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawaii

Ocean life facing a corrosive future - new report

The ocean moderates human-induced global warming but at the cost of profound alterations to its physics, chemistry, ecology and ecosystems services. These are the findings of a report published today in Science by the Oceans 2015 Initiative and co-authored by IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Marine Vice Chair, Dan Laffoley. …  

02 Jul 2015 | News story