Coastal and Marine

Three quarters of the world’s population living in vulnerable coastal zones call Asia home. IUCN works to reduce the risks posed to coastal communities by supporting sound policy and integrated coastal management initiatives.


Our work includes addressing key issues that threaten coastal ecosystems and livelihoods, promoting investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development, and strengthening the ability of local government and local people to plan for and adapt to threats.

© James HardcastlePhoto: © James Hardcastle

Strategic Objectives and Priority Intervention Areas, 2021-204 

Objective 1: IUCN Asia works to secure the Ecological integrity of the oceans of Asia

  • Develop and strengthen principles, frameworks and legislation for the protection of the whole ocean – transboundary governance beyond national jurisdictions
  • Address marine pollution especially plastic pollution
  • Ratification and implementation of existing treaties and conventions on biodiversity and climate change, sustainable tourism, pollution, gender equality etc. and the development/ strengthening of relevant National Policies / Strategies/ Targets; NBSAP, NDCs, REDD+, NAPs (National Adaptation Plans), Climate Change Gender Action Plans (CCGAP) etc.

Objective 2. IUCN Asia will Strengthen coastal resilience and livelihoods in the Asia Region

  • Promote marine spatial planning (MSP) as a tool for engaging with stakeholders and communities for sustainable development of marine and coastal activities such as tourism and leisure, fisheries, aquaculture, emphasizing the linkages between culture and nature.
  • Promote Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Policy and practice (piloting) – MFF, ICM policy analysis Cambodia, ICM Strategy Development Myanmar, PEMSEA SDS-SEA
  • Strengthen capacity of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) management, Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures (OECMs); - MFF, BOBLME, MOF Korea, CTI,
  • Intensify work with a range of industries to build a sustainable blue world economy, including through best-practice fisheries, deep-sea mining and shipping, by providing credible knowledge particularly focusing on threatened biodiversity and cumulative effects, and testing innovative solutions that ensure uses of marine resources that are sustainable. – MFF Bangladesh, ICM training course AIT
  • Secure marine and coastal resilience and livelihoods through restoration and adaption actions, Small Scale Fisheries management (EAFM projects e.g. Gulf of Mottama, BOBLME), Livelihoods development grant projects (MFF)
  • Link ecosystem-scale implementation, landscape and seascape restoration and coastal disaster-risk reduction, especially for mangrove and coral reefs systems, as well as marine protected and conserved areas. – Mangrove protection and restoration, Coral reef and Sea grass protection – MFF, Regenerate, KNFC project Libong, Dow Chemicals Project

Objective 3. IUCN Asia will work to maintain ocean and coastal process

  • Strengthen scientific knowledge – provide science-based data and recommendations to the international community on all ecosystem conservation issues that face the ocean – MFF, BOBLME
  • Disseminate and implement global standards for marine protected areas (MPA) and other effective conservation measures (OECM) e.g. the Green List Standard – multiple projects
  • Monitor conservation status - IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and global assessments of the risk of collapse of major marine ecosystems, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems – BOBLME, IUCN Vietnam Marine Turtles Project
  • Build Capacity and Mainstream Nature Based Solutions (NbS) Approach / Ecosystem Based Approach in Development Programmes; Social-Ecological-Systems (SES) Resilience approach – NbS for Coastal Resilience Training ADB, NbS training AfD, mangrove restoration and carbon credits projects