DEPI leads UNEP’s effort on using sound science to apply ecosystem management to address factors causing decline of ecosystem services in marine and coastal areas. A key strength of the marine and coastal ecosystem programme is its ability to facilitate cooperation at global, regional and national levels through the Regional Seas Programme and the Global Programme of action for the protection of marine environment from land-based activities (GPA).
The key areas of work include environmental aspects of fisheries, integrated management of marine protected areas, marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and impacts of climate change on the marine environment.
As the UNEP focal point for coral reefs (tropical and cold-water) DEPI supports concerted action to improve the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs. This work is implemented through the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), existing networks, and other relevant programmes.
DEPI is also UNEP’s focal point for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). It coordinates UNEP’s effort in assisting countries to implement the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the programme of action for the sustainable development of SIDS.