IOC Unesco

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – IOC was established in 1960 with the overall aims of:

1. promotion of marine research and international collaboration,

2. development of oceanographical services and monitoring systems,

3. coordination of educational programmes.


The small number of initial member states slowly grew and in 2014 IOC had 147 members (see Figure). 


On the General Assembly of IOC in Paris (27. 6. - 5. 7. 2013) the strategy for the next intermediate period was confirmed (2014 – 2021, Resolution XXVII/2 and annexes 1-3) with the overall goals:

☼ conservation of ecosystem and ocean status,

☼ development of early warning systems and disaster readiness,

☼ mitigation of climate change and adaptation to climate variability,

☼ improvement of knowledge on oceans and emerging topics in ocean science and

☼ education and aid to the less developed in order to accomplish the predefined strategic goals.


Knowledge transfer is important in order to obtain the societal goals and to improve the management and knowledge on oceans. Strategies and goals are linked to the longterm IOC programmes and mechanisms of collaboration such as: GOOS (Global Observing System), IODE (International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange), OBIS (Ocean Biogeographic Information System), WCRP (World Climate Research Programme), OSP (Ocean Science Programme), ICAM (Integrated Coastal Area Management) in HAB (Harmful Algal Blooms).



Slovenia became the member of IOC in 1994 and established a national committee for intergovernmental oceanographic commission (NO MOK) operating under the premises of the National commission for UNESCO. The Slovenian programme is in concordance with the broader goals of IOC and is oriented towards the activities linked to observational / information systems on sea that ensure their constant operational activities, development and complement with biological and ecological parameters, development of data solutions, information on health status of marine ecosystems. An important share of activities of NO MOK remains the strengthening of knowledge about oceans / seas and promotional activities. The most visible events are the annual events around World ocean's day (8th June) when we organize open doors day where Marine Biology Station organizes lectures, guided tours of laboratories and the research vessel. Various interactive workshops for children and youngsters are available: variability of marine organisms, planctonic organisms under the microscope, introductory physical marine processes (stratification of the sea, waves), but visitors are also invited to see the work in microbiological and chemical laboratories as well as the ride on the research vessel. Some of the moments from the Open doors day in 2014 are available on  this link.