DEPI coordinates implementation of the global programme of action for  the  protection  of  the  marine  environment  from  land-based activities  (GPA) through concrete actions with tangible results. The GPA is a non-legally binding instrument. It was adopted in 1995 as a comprehensive programme to protect and preserve the marine environment from adverse impacts of land-based activities.

The GPA is the only global programme addressing the interface between fresh water and the coastal environment. It encourages countries to develop National Programmes of action (NPa) to address priority issues based on the particular needs and capacities of their economies and institutions