Defending the ocean for all life on Earth


The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) was established 10 years ago to increase our collective understanding of the role of the ocean in making the planet habitable, and of the impact of the various stressors exerted upon it.

The initiative does this by bringing together scientists and other experts to consider the cumulative impact of different stressors on the ocean.

IPSO’s State of the Ocean reports have been used by governments, campaigners and UN bodies to inform their work.

PrintThe 2013 State of the Ocean report included an expression of concern about the poorly recognised harm caused by pollution and called for action to “prevent, reduce and strictly control inputs of substances that are harmful or toxic to marine organisms into the marine environment”, so recognising pollution’s critical role in eroding the resilience of the ocean to the impacts of climate change.

MarineSafe has been established as a response to this call for action and functions as a stand-alone organisation.

In the spring of 2016 IPSO held a scientific workshop to specifically examine pollution from domestic sources and the findings are informing the design of the MarineSafe Zones. The workshop was held in collaboration with the IUCN and the World Commission on Protected Areas.