Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Subregion 49: Red Sea

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment
    The objective of the Jeddah Convention, adopted in 1982 and in force in 1985, is to ensure conservation of the environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden by the promotion, on a regional basis, of environmental protection and natural resources management in the marine and coastal areas of the region. There is also a Protocol Concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (adopted in 1982, in force in 1985).

    Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, PERSGA
    PERSGA is a regional organization responsible for the protection and conservation of the marine environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It was formally established in 1996 by the parties to the Jeddah Convention.

    Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
    See also the Agreement (adopted in 1993, in force in 1996) as a pdf file. The objective of the Commission (IOTC) is to promote cooperation among its Members with a view to ensuring, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilisation of stocks covered by this Agreement and encouraging sustainable development of fisheries based on such stocks.

    UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ESCWA
    The UN ESCWA has a mandate for raising the level of economic development and cooperation among the countries of its region and between them and other parts of the world. The Natural Resources and Environment Management Programme under its Energy, Natural Resources and Environment Division includes a water resources component covering issues like assessment of water resources in ESCWA member states; harmonisation of environmental standards in the water sector of ESCWA member states; and Progress achieved in the implementation of chapter 18 of Agenda 21, with emphasis on water for sustainable agricultural production (case studies); Development of fresh water resources in the rural areas using non-conventional techniques; and Current water policies and practices in selected ESCWA countries.

    Organisation of African Unity, OAU
    The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963, and the Charter of the Organization was signed on that occasion by Heads of State and Government of 32 independent African States. Its purposes are to promote the unity and solidarity of the African States; defend the sovereignty of members; eradicate all forms of colonialism; promote international cooperation having due regard for the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; coordinate and harmonize Member States economic, diplomatic, educational, health, welfare, scientific and defense policies. Issues like Research, Planning, Statistics & Population; Trade, Finance, Customs & Tourism; Agriculture & Rural Development; Transport & Communications; Co-operation & Integration; Industry, Energy & Mineral Resources, fall under the organisation's Economic Cooperation and Development Department.

    Financial institutions

    African Development Bank
    The ADB is the premier financial development institution of Africa, dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilising resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. The bank's Environment and Sustainable Development Unit "is the focal point for addressing and integrating the cross-cutting themes of environment, population, gender, poverty reduction, NGO relations/local participation, and institutional development into the bank's operations." The bank's environmental guidelines include coastal and marine resource management, and fisheries. See also the bank's country environmental profiles for its members.


    Action programmes, strategies and research

    Strategic Action Programme for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden
    The SAP for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden was initiated in 1995, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It "enables national experts to conduct research on key environmental issues. As a result, threats to the environment have been identified and remedial actions recommended, including habitat conservation measures, improved management of living marine resources, oil spill contingency plans, pollution impact reduction strategies, tourism management and applied research." PERSGA endorsed the programme in 1996.

    UNEP Regional Seas Programme
    The Regional Seas Programme was initiated in 1974 as a global programme implemented through regional components. The Regional Seas Programme is UNEP's main framework in the field of the coastal and marine environment. It includes 14 regions and three partner seas, involves more than 140 coastal states, and focuses on sustainable development of coastal and marine areas. Each regional action plan is formulated according to the needs and priorities of the region as perceived by the Governments concerned. Regional conventions are in place for several areas. See a map of all regional seas, and go to more information on the Black Sea, Wider Caribbean, Mediterranean, East Asian Seas, South Asian Seas, Eastern Africa, Kuwait Region, North West Pacific, Red Sea And Gulf of Aden, South East Pacific, North East Pacific, South Pacific, Upper South West Atlantic, and West and Central Africa. The UNEP Regional Seas web site also contains information on What's at stake, Major threats, and Actions.


    State of the regional environment

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: West Asia

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region

    Projects under implementation

    UNDP - GEF - International waters:
    Protection of Marine Ecosystems of the Red Sea Coast of Yemen
    This project aims to protect ecosystems important to fisheries and biodiversity through improving knowledge and monitoring of Yemen's Red Sea resources and their use. The project also incorporates a regional component which is implemented by UNEP. This component will provide capacity building for PERSGA (Regional Environment Programme for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

    UNDP/UNEP/World Bank - GEF - International waters:
    Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme(SAP) for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
    With PDF "B" funding, the three GEF Implementing Agencies have together assisted the countries of the Red Sea and PERSGA (Regional Organisation for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden) in the drafting of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP). The SAP, under the present full project, aims to develop and implement a regional framework for protection of the environmental and sustainable development of coastal and marine resources. This project is jointly implemented with the World Bank and UNEP. Associated projects amount to $271 million. See also UNOPS project description.

    World Bank - GEF - International Waters:
    Gulf of Aqaba Environmental Action Plan
    As part of the Regional Environmental Action Plan for the Gulf of Aqaba, the project will (a) develop regional collaborative mechanisms for strengthening the capacity to protect coastal zone and marine biodiversity; (b) develop and enforce the legal framework and regulations for control of transboundary pollution; (c) provide safeguards against oil pollution; (d) establish and implement guidelines for sustainable development of the coastal zone; (e) assess the effects of wastewater seepage on the quality and level of the transboundary water table; (f) implement a plan to control solid waste impacts on marine and coastal waters; and (g) demarcate and manage a marine protected area.

    World Bank - GEF - Biodiversity:
    Red Sea Coastal and Marine Resource Management, Egypt
    The project will support the development and implementation of policies, plans and regulations that ensure that economic development in the Red Sea is consistent with sound environmental management to protect the shared marine resources of the Red Sea coastal zone. Project components include institutional strengthening, development of public-private partnerships to ensure sustainable environmental management, data analysis and system monitoring.

    UNDP - GEF - Biodiversity:
    Conservation Management of Eritrea's Coastal, Marine and Island Biodiversity
    The objective of the project is to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the globally significant biodiversity of Eritrea's coastal, marine and island (CMI) ecosystems. These are currently threatened by the rapid development of fisheries, tourism and oil exploration. The project will facilitate sustainable development of the CMI resources, through a participatory management framework, establishment of conservation areas and species programs, an operational information system, and increased public awareness of the needs and benefits of CMI biodiversity.


    Other actors, initiatives and resources

    International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management, ICLARM
    An international research organization "devoted to improving the productivity, management and conservation of aquatic resources for the benefit of users and consumers in developing countries". ICLARM is one of the research centres of CGIAR, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
    See, for example, Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Project: The Role of Marine Protected Areas in Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Coral Reef Ecosystems. ICLARM, in collaboration with the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners, and with support from the European Commission, has also developed FishBase, a global information system on fishes for research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase contains full information on 23,500 species. Furthermore, ICLARM has developed similar systems on coral reefs and their resources (ReefBase) and management of fish stocks in Asia (TrawlBase).

    International Coral Reef Initiative, ICRI
    An environmental partnership that brings stakeholders together with the objective of sustainable use and conservation of coral reefs for future generations. ICRI is an informal mechanism that allows representatives of over 80 developing countries with coral reefs to sit in equal partnership with major donor countries and development banks, international environmental and development agencies, scientific associations, the private sector and NGOs to decide on the best strategies to conserve the world's coral reef resources.

    Coral Health and Monitoring Programme, NOOA
    The mission of the NOOA Coral Health and Monitoring Program is to provide services to help improve and sustain coral reef health throughout the world. Long term goals:Establish an international network of coral reef researchers for the purpose of sharing knowledge and information on coral health and monitoring.Provide near real-time data products derived from satellite images and monitoring stations at coral reef areas. Provide a data repository for historical data collected from coral reef areas. Add to the general fund of coral reef knowledge.See also Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, GCRMN.

    The Red Sea - a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME)
    A Large Marine Ecosystem, LME, is a "region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward margins of coastal current systems. It is a relatively large region characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations." See also Rhode Island University map of LMEs.


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on 22 August 2006