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1_About the IHO





Hydrography involves measuring the depth of the water and fixing the position of all the navigational hazards that lie on the seafloor, such as wrecks and rocks.  This is done mainly with specialised ships and boats operating echo sounders and sonars, but also using survey aircraft fitted with lasers.  Useful information can also be derived sometimes from satellite observations.  Hydrography also involves measuring the tide and the currents.




•The most well-known application of hydrographic information is for making the nautical charts that all mariners use for navigation.




•Hydrographic information is required for the safe, efficient and sustainable conduct of every human activity that takes place in, on or under the sea.




The AMENDED Convention on the IHO


Summary Brief on The Protocol of amendments to the Convention on the IHO

The Member States of the IHO approved a Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the IHO at the 3rd Extraordinary International Hydrographic Conference in April 2005.

For the amendments to come into effect, at least two thirds of the Member States existing in 2005 must formally accede to the Protocol of Amendments.  This means a minimum number of 48 Member States.

Monaco is the depositary government for the Convention on the IHO.  Accession to the Protocol of Amendments must be indicated by each government communicating with the government of Monaco through diplomatic channels, indicating its approval of the Protocol of Amendments.

=> Note verbale template

The minimum number of 48 approvals required for the entry into force of the Protocol of Amendments to the Convention on the IHO was reached on 8 August 2016. The Protocol entered into force three months later, that is on 8 November 2016.

Principal Changes to the Convention

The Amendments to the Convention are intended to achieve a more efficient and responsive organisation.

The principal amendments to the Convention are as follows:

·     Establish a Council to improve the governance and management of the organisation.  The Council will meet annually.

·     Reduce the programme cycle of the Organisation to three years between Conferences (to be known as Assemblies), rather than the current five years between Ordinary Conferences.  At present, the Organization needs the agreement of a majority of Member States to call an Extraordinary Conference at the mid point between Ordinary Conferences in order to review the programme and address specific items.

·     Remove the requirement for States applying for membership of the IHO to await the approval of two thirds of the existing Member States.  This will remove an average wait of two to three years before the required majority is achieved.  No State has ever been refused entry into the IHO in 92 years.

·     Change the elected position of President of the Directing Committee to that of Secretary-General.  This will provide an organisational structure similar to most other inter-governmental organisations.

Impact on Existing Member States

The amendments to the Convention do not change any of the existing financial obligations placed on Member States.

The amendments to the Convention do not introduce any additional obligations on Member States.

Download here a flyer with these information

To know more about the amendments:

For the current Convention and basic documents of the IHO click here

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World Hydrography Day (WHD)

WHD is celebrated each year on June 21st.



On 29th November 2005, the United Nations adopted Resolution A/60/30, that includes the statement, Welcomes the adoption by the International Hydrographic Organization of the World Hydrography Day, to be celebrated annually on 21 June, with the aim of giving suitable publicity to its work at all level and of increasing the coverage of hydrographic information on a global basis, and urges all States to work with that organization to promote safe navigation, especially in the areas of international navigation, ports and where there are vulnerable or protected marine areas.





La Journée mondiale de l'hydrographie (JMH)

La JMH est célébrée chaque année le 21 juin.


L´Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, dans sa Résolution A/60/30 du 29 novembre 2005 Se félicite de l´adoption par l´Organisation hydrographique internationale d´une Journée mondiale de l´Hydrographie, qui sera célébrée tous les ans, le 21 juin et dont le but sera de faire une publicité adéquate à ses travaux, à tout niveau, ainsi que d´accroître la couverture en information hydrographique, au niveau international. [Elle] demande instamment à tous les Etats de coopérer avec cette organisation dans le but de promouvoir la sécurité de la navigation, particulièrement dans les zones de navigation internationale, dans les ports et là où existent des zones maritimes vulnérables ou protégées.





El Día Mundial de la Hidrografía (DMH)

Anualmente el 21 de Junio el DMH se celebra.


La Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, en el punto del Orden del Día sobre los Océanos y Ley del Mar, adoptó la Resolución A/60/30 en fecha 29 de Noviembre del 2005, que Da la bienvenida a la adopción por la OHI del Día Mundial de la Hidrografía, que se celebrará anualmente el 21 de Junio, con el propósito de dar una publicidad apropiada a su trabajo a todos los niveles, y de aumentar la cobertura de información hidrográfica globalmente, e insta a todos los Estados a trabajar con esa Organización para promover una navegación segura, especialmente en las zonas de navegación internacional, los puertos y donde haya zonas marítimas vulnerables o protegidas.


          "La Información hidrográfica, motor del conocimiento marino"






IHO - 100





Document No Date Posted Document Title















IHO Work Programmes

From 2017, the IHO will change from a 5-yearly to a 3-yearly budgetary cycle. Each budget cycle is based on foreward forecast approved by the Member States at the previous Conference (now Assembly).

Each yearly forecast is reviewed in the preceeding year and any changes approved by the Member States.

The approved budget supports an annual work programme that is also approved by the Member States.

The work programmes for the current budgetary cycle are listed below :

Download Work Programmes  
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2019 - Final (IHO CL 51 /2018 refers) DOWNLOAD
(approved by decision 23 of the 1st Session of the IHO Assembly)
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2018 - Final (IHO CL 55/2017 refers) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2017 - Final (IHO CL 65/2016 refers) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2016 - Final (IHO CL 87/2015 refers) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2015 - Adjusted (IHO CL 82/2014 refers) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2014 - Final (Annexed to IHO CL 74/2013) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2013 - Final (Annexed to IHO CL 98/2012) DOWNLOAD
IHO WORK PROGRAMME 2012 - Final (Annexed to IHO CL 77/2011) DOWNLOAD

Note: please click HERE for the IHO Capacity Building Work Programme, which is a subset of the IHO Work Programme.



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