International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)

Bridging Science and Policy for a Healthy Ocean

The programme is an initiative created to enable a greater scientific understanding of the services the ocean provides to humankind and the impact of the main human stressors upon it, enabling solutions to be explored and greater communication with decision-makers and the public. To that end, the initiative brings together science, communications, policy and legal disciplines.


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IPSO’s ambition is to drive faster and more effective action to protect the ocean by increasing our understanding of its role at the Earth System level and the cumulative impact of the multiple stressors exerted upon it.

IPSO’s work has a strong scientific basis, which it then proactively communicates to ensure it has an impact in the world. To this end, IPSO translates the science into accessible forms, construct campaigns and seeks opportunities to bring it to the widest possible attention and pursue solutions to the ocean crisis.


The past decade has seen a steep change in the volume and quality of scientific research, advancing our understanding of all aspects of the environment, biology, ecosystem functioning and human interactions with the ocean.

IPSO was founded to enable greater scientific understanding of the role of the ocean at an Earth System level – specifically the impact of the main stressors upon it – and then to explore possible solutions. These solutions are then presented to the public and decision-makers to encourage debate and engagement.