IOCARIBE is a regional subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). It is the IOC Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions and is responsible for the promotion, development and co-ordination of IOC marine scientific research programmes, the ocean services, and related activities, including training, education and mutual assistance (TEMA) in the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions. In establishing its programmes, it takes into account the specific interests and needs of the Member States in the region.

IOCARIBE can be envisaged as an international networking system created by the Governments of Member States, for the co-ordination and promotion of marine and coastal sciences and associated operational services in the region.

Its major objectives are to:


ü  Reinforce and broaden scientific co-operation, regionally and internationally through networking and institutional arrangements with organizations operating within and without the region, for example, UN bodies, IGOs, NGOs, the scientific community;


ü  Provide regional input to global ocean sciences and observation programmes;


ü  Promote and facilitate implementation of IOC global science programmes and ocean services at the regional level;


ü  Foster the generation of knowledge, sharing of information, expertise and experience on the wider Caribbean and its coastlines; and to


ü  Assist Member States to develop their capacity to formulate national policies and plans to meet their needs in marine science and technology.


IOCARIBE is not a funding agency. The Sub-Commission lends its credibility, and validates and endorses fund-raising efforts. Moreover, it assists in the avoidance of duplication, waste and inefficient use of funds and resources emanating from different sources into the region for scientific projects and initiatives. Most of IOCARIBE's support for its programmes comes from external sources or is requested from Member States in the region.

Donor support is also sought through the intergovernmental mechanism and through IOC. Liaison is maintained with regional organizations (UN, IGOs, NGOs) and programmes co-operating with the Sub-Commission at the regional level for example, UNESCO/CSI, CARICOMP, UNDP, UNEP/CEP, IMO, CARICOM, OECS, ACS, IAI, CMO, IRF.



The Regional Sub-Commission operates within the framework of the general policy of the IOC and is an intergovernmental subsidiary body responsible for the promotion, development, and coordination of the Commission's marine scientific research and technology development programmes, the ocean services, and related activities including Capacity Development in the wider Caribbean region, through the concerted action of IOCARIBE Member States.

However, the Sub-Commission's programmes are not a mere reflection of the IOC Global Programmes, but reflect the regional priorities, needs and commitments towards the achievement of regional sustainable development. The work of the Sub-Commission must be driven from the region and carried out by the Member States of the region. The Sub-Commission's work must provide them with appropriate scientific inputs and with necessary elements to formulate their own marine policy instruments.

The work of the Sub-Commission should preferably be based on the participation of national institutions which are committed by their Governments to participating in the IOC regional activities. In this way, a sustainable development on the basis of cooperation of national and international institutions may be achieved.


Cooperative marine science activities of IOC in the Caribbean and adjacent regions have existed for more than thirty years. Over this period three distinct stages have marked the evolution of marine Sciences in the region. CICAR - 1968: The first regional effort in marine sciences in the Caribbean was the Cooperative Investigations of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (CICAR) coordinated by IOC and modeled on the Indian Ocean International Expedition. Its aim was the understanding of the oceans and related processes in the Greater Caribbean region. To achieve its research goals, CICAR had first to concentrate on developing the capabilities of the participating countries to carry out marine scientific research. This became its major activity and the most significant impact of CICAR in the region.

IOCARIBE Association, 1975: The Member States recognized the benefits of CICAR and expressed their interest in creating a successor organization. The "Association of IOC for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions", using the acronym "IOCARIBE" for the first time, was approved by the Ninth Assembly of IOC in November 1975 for an experimental period of six years. After the experimental phase, and at the request of Member States, the output of the Association was evaluated and presented to the IOC Assembly in 1982.

Despite some shortcomings, the development of national capabilities reached during CICAR and later by the IOCARIBE Association was described as "impressive and satisfactory". The Association's most significant achievement was to provide a mechanism for regular contact and an international regional forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences and ideas among Member States.

IOCARIBE Sub-Commission, 1982: The Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, was created in November 1982. It is the first in its kind and its purpose is to carry out the IOC global programmes on a regional basis for the Greater Caribbean. It replaced the former IOCARIBE Association and its predecessor CICAR.


Board of Officers

 2017 – 2019




Av. Revolución 1425 piso 24

Colonia Tlacopac San Miguel C.P 01040

Delegación Álvaro Obregón, Ciudad de México

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Despacho de la Administración

Autoridad Marítima de Panamá

Diablo, Panamá

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Meteorological Department Director

& National Commission UNESCO Aruba

Sabana Berde 73-B, Aruba

E-mail: marck.oduber@unesco.org  





Ms. Bonnie J. PONWITH, PhD.

Director, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center

75 Virginia Beach Drive

Miami, FL  33149 – U.S.A.

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People of IOCARIBE



IOC Secretary for IOCARIBE


Assistant, IOCARIBE Secretariat

Administrative Assistant


CCO Liaison Officer


IOCARIBE Data Coordinator


 Additionally, the IOCARIBE group page at www.ioc-unesco.org is available here.

Contact Us

UNESCO IOC Regional Secretariat for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions Sub-Commission IOCARIBE
Secretaria Regional de la COI UNESCO para la Subcomision del Caribe y Regiones Adyacentes IOCARIBE

UNESCO IOC Regional Secretariat for IOCARIBE 
Secretaria Regional de la COI UNESCO para IOCARIBE 
Edificio Chambacu 
Cra 3B # 26-78, 
Apartado Aéreo 1108 
Cartagena de Indias 

Tel.: (575) 664 0955 
Fax: (575) 664 0288

Dr. Cesar Toro
Head of UNESCO IOC Regional Secretariat for IOCARIBE / IOCARIBE Secretary
Jefe Secretaria Regional de la UNESCO COI para IOCARIBE / Secretario IOCARIBE
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Ms. Patricia Wills Velez
Secretariat Assistant
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Ms. Bianis Palacios
Administrative Assistant 
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