UNEP Water Branch

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1977, Geneva (Switzerland), within the framework of United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), as Regional Seas Programme Activity Centre, to ensure the overall coordination of Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974, and to serve as secretariat of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its related protocols. Moved from Geneva to Nairobi (Kenya), 1 Sep 1985, when name changed to UNEP Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre (OCA/PAC - UNEP). Ceased to exist.


Provide overall coordination of UNEP's programme on oceans, coastal areas and freshwater resources.

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Responsible for implementing and maintaining the Regional Seas Programme. MED POL Programme for monitoring and controlling pollution. Provides guidance and supervision of organizational units established and operated by UNEP for the technical coordination of Regional Seas action plans. Acts as secretariat for Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA), adopted at conference Nov 1995, Washington DC (USA).

1. Within the 'Regional Seas Programme' - Regional Seas Action Plans for which UNEP provides support in various forms, coordinated by the Centre:

 • Black Sea Action Plan (BSAP);

 • Action Plan for Protection, Development and Management of the Marine Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP);

 • West and Central African Action Plan (WACAF).

Similar Action Plans, previously managed by the centre but currently managed by their own Regional Coordinating Units (RCU):

 • Caribbean Action Plan (CAR);

 • Eastern African Action Plan (EAF);

 • Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP);

 • Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Region (EAS).

Similar Action Plans currently being planned:

 • South-West Atlantic Action Plan;

 • Arctic Action Plan.

2. Regional Task Team on the Implication of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise in the Caspian Sea Region, set up by OCA/PAC in 1994, which proposes the setting up of Action Plan on Protection and Management of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Caspian Sea.

3. Carries out a number of specific freshwater managerial activities, including diagnostic studies on freshwater basins.


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Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 13 inter-governmental organizations.
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Members in 0 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Oceanography
    • Oceanography
  • Hydrology
    • Water
  • Geology
    • Land and Coastal Forms
  • Resources
    • Resources
  • Environment
    • Environment

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 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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