Marine and Polar

Our work

New Caledonia

The IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme's work is organised below under ten broad themes. As some of our work cuts across these themes, some project work may feature under more than one theme.

GMPP Main Themes


New Coral Growing on OldClimate Change & Oceans

Blue Carbon

Ocean Acidification

Ocean Warming


Ocean fertilisation and other geo-engineering issues

Western Grey WhaleConserving Threatened Species

Convening of the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel 

Enhancing shark and ray conservation

Supporting the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC)



Measuring coralsEurope Overseas Programme

Promote conservation and sustainable use  

Manage small and medium-scale grants 




Panama PorkfishMarine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Work with the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) 

Development of MPA tools (e.g. MPA managers toolkits and training)

Protect Planet Ocean website 

Development of MPA networks


Penguin AntarcticPolar activities

Enhancing Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) and regional cooperation in the Arctic marine environment

Identifying ecologically significant or vulnerable areas in the Arctic marine environment

Enhancing the establishment of networks of MPA in the Southern Ocean

Strengthening the ecosystem approach within the Antarctic Treaty System

Advancing appropriate management responses to climate change within the Antarctic Treaty System

Locals fishingSecuring Coastal Livelihoods

Global Coasts Initiative

Coastal ecosystem restoration for livelihoods improvement

Sustainable resource use and management

Increasing and promoting resilience and adaptive capacity in coastal communities

Healthy coral, BorneoCoral Reefs​

Coral Reefs Monitoring

Coral Reef Resilience 

Conduct Research



Ship through oil spillOcean Governance

Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and High Seas;

International institutional change to strengthen conservation priorities (IA UNCLOS);

Marine spatial planning;

Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) governance;

Southern Ocean and Antarctica (see Polar activities);

 Marine pollution and ocean dumping;

and South West Indian Ocean Seamount Project

(For fisheries governance issues, please see Fisheries & Aquaculture section)

Baby humpback whale in discarded netMarine Plastics 

Increase public awareness

Implement action plans

Involve stakeholders (plastic, tourism, fishing industries, research communities, NGO's, local authorities, national governments)


Offshore wind farmsEnergy & Industry


Offshore oil and gas

Aquaculture and mariculture

Greening Blue Energy: Identifying and managing the biodiversity risks and opportunities of offshore renewable energy 

Skipjack tuna in netFisheries & Aquaculture

Fisheries governance

Sustainable Aquaculture

Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing




Managing Marine Invasive Species

Projects and fieldwork on the detection and management of marine alien invasive species

Policy work to increase international regulations to manage marine species introductions through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity


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