UNESCO is integrated by 195 Member States with around 2.000 staff members (171 different nationalities) working to build networks among nations that enable solidarity by mobilising for education, building intercultural understanding, pursuing scientific cooperation, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies. Within the UN system, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission serves as the focal point for ocean observations, ocean science, ocean services and data and information exchange. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea considers IOC to be the competent international organization for marine scientific research. Currently, IOC has a strategy based on Three Expected Results, which together will ensure an efficient and coordinated response by IOC-UNESCO and Member States to the major challenges facing the global oceans: first, a bolstered scientific understanding of ocean and coastal processes that will be used by Member States to improve the management of the human relationship with the ocean; second, reduced risks and impacts of ocean-related hazards, and effective mitigating of the impacts of adaptation to climate change and variability; and third, reinforced Member States' institutional capacities to protect and sustainably manage ocean and coastal resources. The Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section (IOC/MPR) is responsible for the coordination of IOC’s external policy and communication with the aim of fostering multi-agency partnerships related to ocean and coastal matters and related science-policy interface, the development and dissemination of coastal and marine management tools.
IOC-UNESCO is work area lead for coastal issues, as well as the lead for WP6, Information Platform. In this regard, IOC-UNESCO is a key partner to AQUACROSS, providing expertise on coastal-related issues as well as all data and information aspects of AQUACROSS. Moreover, IOC-UNESCO, together with Ecologic Institute, coordinates a pilot case study on transboundary water ecosystems and green/blue infrastructures in the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco.