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.

Learn more


What's new?

IUCN Red List

IUCN Red List wins 2014 Prince Albert II of Monaco Prize for Biodiversity

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is honoured this year, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, with the announcement that it will receive the 2014 Prince Albert II of Monaco Prize for Biodiversity. …   | Dutch

22 Jul 2014 | News story

waves open sea

Another Step Forward on High Seas Governance

The international community continues to make progress in its discussions on issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. At the eighth meeting of the UN Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study such issues (BBNJ Working Group), which took place from 16-19 June at the UN Headquarters in New York, the positive momentum of the seventh BBNJ Working Group meeting could be maintained.  …  

17 Jul 2014 | News story

Taholo Kami (IUCN), Aunofo Havea (Tonga), Hoturoa Kerr (New Zealand), Farri Bruun (Samoa) and Peia Patai (Cook Islands) after signing the memorandums of understanding.

Fleet growing for ‘Mua’ – the sailing voyage to World Parks Congress 2014

More Pacific Island countries are climbing aboard the ‘Mua: Guided by Nature’ voyage to help convey the ‘one Pacific voice’ to the world, with the number of traditional voyaging canoes sailing from the Pacific to Sydney for the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 rapidly growing into a fleet. …  

17 Jul 2014 | News story