Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities


Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future


Organisations and Networks


The SEAWASTE Network serves as a platform for information exchange and cooperation on pollution issues that impact on all aquatic environments in southern and east Africa. 


Water for Life Decade
The primary goal of the ‘Water for Life’ Decade is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 – a decade of action.


Global Forum on Oceans Coasts and Islands
The Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands serves as a multi-stakeholder forum for cross-sectoral discussion, policy analyses, and mobilization of knowledge and other resources to achieve the full implementation of international agreements related to oceans, coasts, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).


Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
SIWI is a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to find solutions to the world’s escalating water crisis.


Freshwater Action Network (FAN)
FAN was established after the 2nd World Water Forum in March 2000 as a freshwater advocacy network. FAN was set up to ensure that Southern CSOs working on water or sanitation issues are strongly represented at international water policy forums and to ensure their voices are heard during the increasingly political water debates.


Gender and Water Alliance (GWA)
GWA was established at the Second World Water Forum in March 2000. The mission of GWA is to promote women's and men's equitable access to and management of safe and adequate water, for domestic supply, sanitation, food security and environmental sustainability.


Public Service International (PSI)
PSI unions have been resisting the privatisation of water, which has been imposed on their countries by a number of international organisations. PSI advocates a systematic, global strengthening of public water utilities, with appropriate mechanisms, including citizen and worker participation in decision making.


International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
ICFTU was set up in 1949 and has 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories on all five continents, with a membership of 155 million, 40% of who are women.

Regional Seas Programmes

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
CCAMLR came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System, in pursuance of the provisions of Article IX of the Treaty. It was established mainly in response to concerns that an increase in krill catches in the Southern Ocean could have a serious effect on populations of krill and other marine life; particularly on birds, seals and fish, which mainly depend on krill for food.

Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)

PAME was established in 1993 as one of four programmes of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS). These programmes, in addition to a new working group on sustainable development, now operate under the auspices of the Arctic Council that was established in 1996. PAME members include the eight Arctic Council States, namely; Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and United States.

Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission)

The Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area" - more usually known as the Helsinki Convention.

Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Black Sea Commission)

The Black Sea Commission implements the provisions of the Convention and the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan. Main Challenges include Combating Pollution from land-based sources and maritime transport, Achieving sustainable management of marine living resources, Pursuing sustainable human development. The Black Sea Commission comprises one representative of each of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, namely; Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.

Caspian Environment Programme (CEP)

CEP aims at sustainable development of the Caspian environment, including living resources and water quality, protecting human health and ecological integrity for the sake of future generations. The CEP's mission is to assist the Caspian Littoral states to achieve the goal of environmentally sustainable development and management of the Caspian environment for the sake of long-term benefit for the Caspian inhabitants. CEP is a regional umbrella programme developed for and by the five Caspian Littoral states, namely; Azerbaijan, I.R. Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

Nairobi Convention and the Eastern African Action Plan – The Eastern African Coastal Database

The Eastern African Action Plan database intends to facilitate access to environmental information in the region. It provides information on the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region – known as the Nairobi Convention. Established in 1985 and entering into force in 1996, 10 countries are parties to the convention; Comoros, France (La Reunion), Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania.

Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA)

COBSEA steers the Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Seas Region (the East Asian Seas Action Plan), which was approved in 1981 stimulated by concerns on the effects and sources of marine pollution. Since 1994 it has 10 members; Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)

The MAP is a regional cooperative effort involving 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the European Union. Through the MAP, these Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols are determined to meet the challenges of protecting the marine and coastal environment while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.

OSPAR Commission

The 1992 OSPAR Convention is the current instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. It combined and up-dated the 1972 Oslo Convention on dumping waste at sea and the 1974 Paris Convention on land-based sources of marine pollution. The work under the convention is managed by the OSPAR Commission, made up of representatives of the Governments of 15 Contracting Parties and the European Commission, representing the European Community.

Central America Marine Transport Commission (COCATRAM) - Spanish
The Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific, also known as the Antigua Convention, was established in 2002 and has eight contracting parties; Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. The Plan of Action, also established in 2002, aims to provide a regional cooperative framework for promoting and facilitating the sustainable management of the marine and coastal resources of the countries of the northeast Pacific for the well-being of the present generation and future generations in the region.

Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)
The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) was adopted in September 1994 and its implementation of NOWPAP contributes to the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) in the Northwest Pacific region. NOWPAP has four member states, namely; the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
SPREP is a regional organisation established by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region to look after its environment. SPREP’s members total 26, consisting of all 22 Pacific island countries and territories, and four developed countries with direct interests in the region: Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America. Established in 1982, SPREP stands for the deep commitment of the Pacific island governments and administrations towards sustainable development.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA)
PERSGA is an intergovernmental body dedicated to the conservation of the coastal and marine environments in the region. PERSGA is responsible for the development and implementation of regional programs for the protection and preservation of the unique ecosystem and high biological diversity of this region. PERSGA's member countries are; Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME)
The objective ROPME is to coordinate the Member States efforts towards protection of the water quality in ROPME Sea Area and protect the environment systems as well as marine living and to abate the pollution caused by the development activities of the Member States. In addition, ROPME requested the Member States to exert their maximum efforts to protect the marine environment and prevent the reasons of pollution. ROPME member countries are; Bahrain, I.R. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP)

SACEP is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1982 by the Governments of South Asia to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. Eight countries, namely; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have ratified the Articles of Association of SACEP.

Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS)
CPPS is the appropriate Regional Maritime Organization responsible for the coordination of the maritime policies of its member countries: Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. The organization was established in 1952, as a result of the Declaration on the Maritime Zone. The CPPS is a Regional Maritime Organization and a strategic alliance in the Southeast Pacific, established to consolidate the presence of the coastal States in this important geographic zone, extend its influence to adjacent zones, and further its relationship with the Pacific Basin.

Regional Coordination Unit for the West & Central African Action Plan (WACAF/RCU)


Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP)
CEP is managed by and for the diverse Caribbean nations and territories under a legal and programmatic framework they created in 1981 called the Caribbean Action Plan. The Action Plan led to the 1983 adoption of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention). The Convention has been supplemented by three protocols addressing specific environmental issues inc. land-based sources and activities of marine pollution. CEP has 28 member countries.