The UNEP Global Programme of Action (UNEP/GPA) aims at preventing the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities by facilitating the realization of the duty of States to preserve and protect the marine environment. It is unique in that it is the only global initiative directly addressing the connectivity between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.
It aims to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance to be drawn upon by national and/or regional authorities for devising and implementing sustained action to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities.
UNEP hosts the GPA Coordinating Unit and coordinates some activities in support of the programme. Intergovernmental Review Meetings are organized every 5 years to review the progress made by countries in the implementation of the GPA through their respective National Action Plans.
It was created in 1995 when over 108 governments declared “their commitment to protect and preserve the marine environment from the impacts of land-based activities, through the Washington Declaration. Setting as their common goal sustained and effective action to deal with all land-based impacts upon the marine environment, specifically those resulting from sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals, oils (hydrocarbons), nutrients, sediment mobilization, litter, and physical alteration and destruction of habitat.
Nutrients management, marine litter and wastewater have been highlighted as priority source categories to address, giving UNEP a strong mandate to continue its work on these issues up to 2016. As part of its strategy to tackle these issues, the GPA secretariat has establised and is strengthening three global multi-stakeholder partnerships: the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM), the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) and the Global Wastewater Initiative (GWI).
Freshwater and Marine Ecosystem Branch (FMEB)
Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI)
United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP)
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri
P.O. Box 30552, 00100