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Partners & Partnership Programmes

Faced with current global challenges that cannot be met by the community of States alone, IOC-UNESCO has developed various partnerships with various stakeholders from the scientific community, civil society and the private sector. These partnerships assist IOC-UNESCO to communicate effectively on ocean-related issues and further develop international coordination across ocean science and governance.

General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)

GEBCO is an international group of experts aiming to provide the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry of the world's oceans. It operates under the joint auspices of IOC-UNESCO and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

Tara Expéditions

Tara Expéditions is a private initiative working in favor of the environment that organizes scientific expeditions to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis facing the world's ocean.

A seamless collaboration has grown between Tara and IOC-UNESCO to ensure effective sharing of the scientific data collected by Tara for the benefit of the international scientific community. Because of its unique approach, Tara is an ideal vector to share messages with the general public and decision makers alike, promoting communication campaigns that aim to create an awareness of ocean citizenship and facilitating the implementation of critical measures for its conservation.      

Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing (FNOB)

The Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing has developed its activities around four strategic pillars: promoting research and development, supplying educational contents for society, supporting and implementing scientific and technological projects, and raising public awareness to promote respect and further knowledge of the environment. After participating in a scientific project on the study of ocean salinity, the boats participating in the 2014-2015 edition of the Barcelona World Race will once again become reseach labs by collecting data on microplastic particles in various parts of the world.

FNOB is also co-organizing the 2nd International Ocean Research Conference, convened by IOC-UNESCO and the Oceanography Society.


Nausicaá —Centre National de la Mer— is more than an aquarium, it is a place to learn and dream. Its mission is to educate the public on improving ocean management and invite each and everyone of us to act to protect the ocean. Nausicaá and IOC-UNESCO have been working closely since 1998.  

IOC-UNESCO awarded Nausicaá with the title of "Center for Excellence" for its contribution to raising awarness of the marine environment and ocean issues.

Océanopolis Brest

Océanopolis Brest is a unique Ocean Discovery Park, combining a scientific approach with spectacular settings. Océanopolis Brest and IOC-UNESCO are signing a partnership agreement during the 27th Assembly of the IOC to further their collaboration.

Plastic Oceans Foundation

Plastic Oceans provides a powerful and effective platform campaigning for, supporting and funding targeted solutions aimed at significantly reducing plastic pollution in the environment.

The Foundation has assembled a team of the world’s top scientists and leading filmmakers to produce a powerful documentary, under the patronage of IOC-UNESCO. A trailer for the film, which is currently in production, was presented to the 27th Assembly of IOC-UNESCO on 27 June 2013.

Sea Orbiter

Sea Orbiter is a visionary project to build a research vessel allowing a 24h/24 exploration on long-term missions of the open sea and the abyss.

Multi One Attitude Foundation (MOAF)

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and International Hydrological Programme work together with the Multi One Attitude Foundation to preserve the planet’s ocean and freshwater through an exciting and innovative Race for Water around the world. The main objective of the partnership is to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of preserving the ocean and freshwater resources, using RACE FOR WATER, trimaran flagship vessel of the Foundation, to race around the world in the Multi One Championship.

World Underwater Federation (CMAS)

IOC-UNESCO collaborates with the World Underwater Federation (CMAS) to develop partnerships between researchers and civil society and involve ocean citizens in monitoring of the marine environment at the local scale.

Society for Underwater Technology (SUT)

The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), which brings together organisations and individuals with a common interest in underwater technology, ocean science and offshore engineering.

Voiles Sans Frontières

Voiles Sans Frontières is a non profit that aims to involve ocean citizens to provide assistance in isolated areas that are only accessible by boat. The organization focuses on medical and educational projects, but has also been contibuting to the Argo project by deploying Argo Floats to maintain the global array.

Lady Amber

The Lady Amber in full sail

The Lady Amber is a 38 tonne, 20 metre, South-African flagged Schooner operated by a crew of four. The Lady Amber has deployed about 100 Argo floats and drifters, travelling over 46,000 nautical miles (85,000 km, or twice the planet circumference by the Equator) while contributing to the the global array of Argo Floats.

Argo is a key component of the Global Ocean Observing System, led by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO). The Joint WMO - IOC Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorlogy (JCOMM) office in Toulouse manages deployments to maintain an array of over 3400 Argo floats and 1250 surface drifters throughout the ocean.

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