Ocean Hero Banner

Ocean Sciences

Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) is the United Nations body responsible for supporting global ocean science and services. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together to protect the health of our shared ocean by coordinating programmes in areas such as ocean observations, tsunami warnings and marine spatial planning. Since it was established in 1960, the IOC has provided a focus for all other United Nations bodies that are working to understand and improve the management of our oceans, coasts and marine ecosystems. Today, the IOC is supporting all its Member States to build their scientific and institutional capacity in order to achieve the global goals including the UN Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. Learn more

Our Work

For 60 years the IOC has worked behind the scenes to enable its Member States to work together to strengthen our knowledge and management of the ocean for the benefit of humanity.
Bank Of Buriganga This photo was taken from the bank of the river Buriganga during the pandemic time in Bangladesh . These boats and ships are used for people and goods to cross the river from one side to the other.

UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030

The UN General Assembly mandated in 2017 UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the 'Ocean Decade’ seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.

The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

fluorescent corals

The Commission also seeks to improve society’s relationship with the ocean through the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge and by educating the general public on how to respond effectively to the unprecedented environmental changes and human activities now impacting the world’s ocean.