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UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) promotes international cooperation and coordinates programmes in marine research, services, observation systems, hazard mitigation, and capacity development in order to understand and effectively manage the resources of the ocean and coastal areas. By applying this knowledge, the Commission aims to improve the governance, management, institutional capacity, and decision-making processes of its Member States with respect to marine resources and climate variability and to foster sustainable development of the marine environment, in particular in developing countries.

Sustainable Blue Economy


Business-as-usual growth of economic activities in the ocean is not an option for the future. The world’s ocean is increasingly exposed to multiple environmental stressors (climate change, marine pollution, ocean acidification) due to human activities, resulting in reduced biodiversity and the degradation of marine and coastal environments. Adaptation strategies and new business models built on scientific advances and enabling technologies are urgently needed to inform policy decisions for the sustainable management of ocean resources.

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Feature Video

World Oceans Day, celebrated each year on June 8 for over 25 years, is part of a wider effort to raise awareness and inform the public of these issues. Linked to human wellbeing and to our very survival on Earth, the conservation and sustainable use of our ocean is more than ever a vital necessity.

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Ocean Observation and Monitoring

The measurement of ocean state variables such as temperature, salinity, currents, pressure, and oxygen content allows researchers to assess the state of the oceans and build models to determine marine and coastal health, make long range weather forecasts, and predict climate variations and change.

The IOC together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) are planning, implementing and coordinating an operational Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) – a unified global network to systematically acquire, integrate and distribute oceanic observations, and to generate analyses, forecasts and other useful products.


  • Development of an African Ocean Observations network (including maintenance and upgrade of sea level stations) that focuses on "ocean information for human and economic security".
  • Participation of experts and institutions from the region in research cruises organized by countries/organizations from the region and outside the region (including the second International Indian Ocean Expedition cruises)
  • Ocean modeling and forecasting (including extreme weather events such as storm surges)
IOC Coordinator in Africa
IOC Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States
UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa
P.O. Box 30592-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 7621244
Copyright © 2018 IOC Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States. All Rights Reserved.

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