Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA)

Programme d'action mondial pour la protection du milieu marin contre la pollution due aux activités terrestres

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3 Nov 1995, Washington DC (USA), by Intergovernmental Conference convened by United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), within UNEP's Early Warning and Assessment Division. Also referred to as Global Programme of Action.


Prevent the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities by facilitating the duty of States to preserve and protect marine environment; achieve a measurable reduction of pollutant loads in specific coastal locations; protect and restore specific habitats; enhance capacity of local and national authorities for addressing priority problems related to the GPA in an expeditious and effective manner; promulgate the use of alternative approaches in addressing specific land-based sources of pollution; mainstream the GPA objectives in national policies and national and local actions. Strengthen regional and national efforts to tackle the flow of chemicals, human waste and other materials into the sea via air, rivers and coastal activities; prevent degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities by facilitating the realization of states' duty to preserve and protect the marine environment; assist states in taking individual or joint action within their respective policies, priorities and resources, which lead to prevention, reduction, control and/or elimination of marine environmental degradation and its recovery from the impact of land-based activities.

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conducted through a comprehensive Programme of Work (POW), of which core components are: Strategic Action Plan on Municipal Wastewater (SAP Wastewater); Physical Alteration and Destruction of Habitats (PADH); Integrated Coastal Area and River Basin Management (ICARM); Public Awareness and outreach, including the GPA Clearing-House Mechanism. Supportive Toolkits for the implementation of regional and national programmes: Voluntary Agreements (VA); Innovative Financial Arrangements (IFA) Access; Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM).


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Relations with 23 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with 16 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 107 countries
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Subjects *

  • Oceanography
    • Marine
  • Geography
    • Land Type/Use
    • Wild
  • Societal Problems
    • Protection
    • Pollution
    • Vulnerability
  • Environment
    • Environment

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on Land



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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