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?

Biodiversity is the cornerstone of our existence

International Day for Biological Diversity 2015: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

Every year on May 22, people around the world celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. From habitat loss and overexploitation to illegal wildlife trade and climate change, a whole host of very real and damaging threats is facing the planet’s incredible biodiversity. Combatting these issues lies at the core of IUCN’s work and feeds into the organisation’s mission of ‘a just world that values and conserves nature’. …  

22 May 2015 | Article

World Ocean Day event

World Ocean Day to be marked by preparations for the Paris climate conference

World Oceans Day, June 8, 2015, will bring together scientists, political decision-makers, civil society and youth to elaborate, promising ocean-sensitive actions and strategies to mitigate climate change and its socioeconomic impacts. …  

22 May 2015 | News story

Fiddler crab

All species great and small must be preserved

The paper, “The Importance and Benefits of Species”, released today in the journal Current Biology, advocates a conservation philosophy that all species are important, no matter their direct use by humans, apparent value, intelligence or attractiveness. The default setting for our relationship to all species on Earth should be “Conservation”, not trying to develop arguments for why a species should be saved through its current perceived usefulness to humans. …  

20 May 2015 | News story