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Partner for the Ocean

UNESCO is working to improve responses to the unprecedented environmental changes and human impacts now occurring and to promote ocean health via marine sciences. Much regard is given to Africa as well as Small Island Developing States where livelihoods depend heavily on marine resources.

Partners can join UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in its efforts to improve responses to the unprecedented environmental changes and human impacts and to promote ocean health. These challenges will be addressed through the following :

  • Ocean monitoring and preparedness to reduce the risks of tsunamis and ocean-related hazards

Through the development of tsunami early warning systems and programmes to strengthen awareness and preparedness on coastal hazards, IOC is helping to create ‘tsunami ready’ communities.

  • Systematic observations of chemical and biological properties of the ocean

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the world’s largest open-access information system on the marine biodiversity, distribution and abundance of all marine life forms. Support for OBIS will strengthen the knowledge base for Member States to manage marine biodiversity and ecosystems and assess ecosystem services in national and international waters.

  • Strengthening national and regional capacities in marine sciences for sustainable ocean management

Strengthening the capacity of coastal nations in managing their marine and coastal resources will enhance  the blue economy and the dissemination and application of Marine Spatial Planning approaches and tools.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is a unique body within the UN system focused on promoting international cooperation and coordinating programmes in ocean research, services and capacity-building.

Established in 1960, IOC leads the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), which is a system for sustained observations of the ocean comprising the oceanographic component of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). IOC has since 1965 provided intergovernmental coordination for the Pacific Tsunami Warning system, and since 2005 has also provided intergovernmental coordination for the development of Tsunami Warning systems in the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and the North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. IOC’s role in these areas has been recognized in several resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.