Regional Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Regional collaboration for protecting the marine environment in the PERSGA region has started in the early 1970s in the framework of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment Program. This has been given a legal framework in the Jeddah convention in 1982. Recently all PERSGA countries have signed a protocol concerning the protection of the marine environment from land –based activities (Jeddah, October 2005).

Regional Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (RPA) leaded by the Regional organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This Programme has been initiated in close coordination and support with the UNEP/GPA (Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities) Coordination Office.                                                                                             

Protocol Concerning the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
                                                                                                                                         

Well established collaboration and interactive contacts between countries in the region of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in the framework of the Jeddah Convention have resulted in several protocols and on-ground activities for conservation of the marine and coastal environment. One of such protocols is the protocol of protection of the marine environment from land –based activities (Jeddah, October 2005). The necessity of the protocol stemmed from: 

(i) the increased pressures on the environment resulting from human activities in the coastal area of the Region

(ii) the threat to the marine environment and its living resources, especially environmentally sensitive areas such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds

(iii) the discharge of sewage, untreated or partially treated industrial effluents, or effluents discharged in a manner unfavorable to the receiving environment, particularly those containing pollutants with toxic characteristics and susceptible to biological accumulation

(iv) the benefits of the use of the best available technologies and ideal environmental practices, along with cleaner production techniques

(v) the recognition of the variations in coastal development and the difference in the priorities of economic and social development in the Region

(vi) the need to comply with the articles of Section 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, which deals with the protection of the marine environment and prevention of pollution from land-based sources, and bearing in mind the Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based activities for 1995, particularly the provisions and priorities thereof which are consistent with the prevailing situation in the Protocol Area as stated in report No. 166 for 1997 by the United Nations Environment Program.

The protocol came in as direct appreciation of these necessities and included:

(i) The Contracting Parties to this Protocol shall take all appropriate measures to protect the environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden against pollution resulting from any land-based sources or activities and to reduce and/or eliminate such pollution to the maximum extent possible with priority given to the gradual elimination of toxic, persistent, and biologically accumulating inputs.

(ii) They shall implement treatment and management control of used water

(iii) Wastes or marine litter dumped in the coastal zone should be taken into consideration to avoid the risks imposed on marine life.

(iv) They shall develop and implement practices for the protection of the natural coastline during construction operations

(v) They shall protect the coastal habitats

(vi) They shall develop regional, national and international guidelines regarding the quality of sea water.

(vii)They will enforce licensing and wastewater regulations.

(viii) They will organize environment monitoring and data management.

(ix) The Contracting Parties shall incorporate Environmental Impact Assessment as a priority during the planning and implementation phases of development projects within their boundaries

General Objectives:

  • Identification and assessment of problems.
  • Establishment of targets and priorities for action.
  • Development and implementation of pragmatic and comprehensive management approaches and processes.
  • Development and implementation of strategies to mitigate and remediate land-based sources of harm to the coastal and marine environment.                                                                                             

PERSGA’s RPA-Related Actions:                                                                                                                       
Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase: In close coordination and with financial support provided from the GPA Coordination Office the PERSGA has taken the initiative to prepare this phase for development of the RPA since September 2005. It presented into two documents: the first one (Part I) portrayed the "Road Map” of the Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase, and the other (Part II) detailed the “Project Portfolio”. The activities outlined in Part I are: Capacity Building Activities; Establishing Baseline Information on Sustainable Financing; and Development of National Programmes of Action (NPAs) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities. The objective of this Phase is to collect information and data, through Preparatory Activities, which are critical for the preparation of high quality project proposal(s) of the Part (II). These projects are:

  • Collection, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Wastewater in the Coastal Cities of the PERSGA region with the Population over 50,000;
  • Identification of Pollution Hot Spots and Sensitive Areas in the Coastal Region of PERSGA;
  • Management of Marine Litter in the PERSGA Region;
  • Assessment of Quality of Bathing Waters and Beaches in the Coastal Region of PERSGA;
  • Management of the Hazardous Waste in the Coastal Region of PERSGA. 

Unit concerning LBA: PERSGA has established the LBA Unit in its headquarters for development and implementation activities and projects concerning LBA, particularly the RPA in coordination with the UNPE/GPA Coordination Office.
 
Implementation Phase: This phase will follow up the Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase and will be designed on the basis of the results of the Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase. It is planned to include, in addition to the Preparatory Activities, other source categories of the GPA and other activities necessary for the full implementation of the PERSGA’S RPA.                                                                                                         

Status of Implementation OF GPA-Related Activities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase: In close coordination and with financial support provided from the UNEP/GPA Coordination Office the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) has taken the initiative to prepare the “Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase” of the Regional Programme of Action (RPA) for the Protection of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Marine Environment from Land Based Activities. It presented into two documents: one portrayed the "Road Map” (Part I) of the Preparatory and Fund Raising Phase, and the other detailed the “Portfolio of Project Proposals” (Part II). The activities outlined in Part I are: Capacity Building Activities; Establishing Baseline Information on Sustainable Financing; and Development of National Programmes of Action (NPAs) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities.                                                                                       
 
The objective of this Phase is to collect information and data, through Preparatory Activities, which are critical for the preparation of high-quality project proposal(s) of the Part (II). 
                                                     

These projects are:

  • Collection, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Wastewater in the Coastal Cities of the PERSGA region with the Population over 50,000;
  • Identification of Pollution Hot Spots and Sensitive Areas in the Coastal Region of PERSGA;
  • Management of Marine Litter in the PERSGA Region;
  •  Assessment of Quality of Bathing Waters and Beaches in the Coastal Region of PERSGA; and
  • Management of the Hazardous Waste in the Coastal Region of PERSGA.

PERSGA has established the LBA Unit in its headquarters for development and implementation activities and projects concerning LBA, particularly the RPA in coordination with the UNPE/GPA Coordination Office.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden