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?

Ilulissat Icefjord, Denmark

New report confirms IUCN assessment of climate change as biggest threat to World Heritage

Climate change is now the most significant risk for World Heritage sites and for the benefits they provide, including economic well-being through sustainable tourism, confirms a new report by UNESCO, UNEP and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in collaboration with IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. …  

26 May 2016 | News story

Local dolphin day celebration in Saphanhin village, February 2016

Local communities in Thailand pledge to save threatened species on dolphin day celebration

In February 2016, local communities and dolphin conservation networks in Laem Klat, Trat Province, Thailand, came together for their annual dolphin day celebration in an effort to protect coastal dolphin populations that have come under increasing pressure in recent years. For the local fishing communities, dolphins are a symbol of good luck and are often cited as indicators of a healthy, abundant ecosystem. …  

19 May 2016 | Article

Cover 'Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends'

Key hotspots of species loss and water risks identified in new transboundary river basins report

On 22 May the global community marked ‘International Biodiversity Day’, celebrating the variety of life on earth. Yet, extinction risks range from moderate to very high in 70% of transboundary river basins, according to a new study: Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends. Climate change, population growth and geopolitical tensions between states sharing waterways are identified as key causes driving the increased risk of species extinction. …  

18 May 2016 | News story