UNEP Regional Seas Programme

The Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans - the world's only legal framework for protecting the oceans and seas at the regional level - celebrate their landmark 40th anniversary in 2014. As the world transitions to an inclusive green economy and looks towards the post-2015 development agenda, countries will continue to rely on the Regional Seas Programme "shared seas" approach to help restore the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity.

Nairobi Convention : Publications

Setting a Course for Regional Seas

Earth’s oceans face a crisis that threatens to become insurmountable. Depleted fishing stocks, destruction of coastal habitats by urbanization and tourism, warming and rising seas, pollution from maritime and land-based activities, and a host of new perils such as deep sea mining and mid-ocean islands of plastic debris combine to challenge our technical abilities, institutions and willpower to deal with them.

In 2014, UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme celebrated its 40th anniversary. We are reminded of how successful these 18 regional MEAs spanning seven continents have been at bringing nations and institutions together in responsible stewardship of theirshared environment. Around the world, the Regional Seas have improved coastal zone management, reduced land-based pollution, protected priceless habitats, and perhaps most importantly demonstrated solidarity of purpose. Every one of the Regional Seas Programmes fulfills a unique role, by creating an essential link between local and global levels of action and between member countries and the international community.

Download full report


Photo: © Ababysean | Dreamstime.com

CHAPTER 1: Dawn of action

Photo:  © Xscream | Dreamstime.com

 CHAPTER 2: The regions respond

Photo: © 2012 GRID-Arendal/Peter Prokosch

 CHAPTER 3: Change in the air

Photo:  © 2010 GRID-Arendal/Lawrence Hislop

 CHAPTER 4: On the horizon

photo:  © 2011 GRID-Arendal/Peter Prokosch

 CHAPTER 5: Future vision

    prev next


    Highlights title