Addressing Land-Based Pollution

Roughly 80 percent of marine pollution originates on land. To address this challenge, strong and coordinated action is needed. UN Environment Programme contributes to tackling land-based pollution by hosting the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). Initially, the GPA tackled nine source categories of pollution [1]. However, after the Manila Declaration of 2012, the GPA focused its resources on addressing three priority source categories, namely marine litter, nutrient management, and wastewater through global voluntary multi-stakeholder partnerships of governments, intergovernmental agencies, academia, the private sector, and civil society.

 

Story

Bittersweet nature of nitrogen calls for better management practices

Nearly 80 per cent of the air we breathe is nitrogen, a harmless inert gas. However, nitrogen also combines with other atoms to form chemical compounds—known as “reactive nitrogen” or “fixed nitrogen” (Nr)—that…

Load all stories

The GPA Global Partnerships

The GPA tackles marine litter, nutrient, and wastewater pollution also through the key role of global partnerships for which the Coordination Office acts as a Secretariat. These partnerships are:

Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML)

Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM)

Global Wastewater Initiative (GW²I)

A New Project

In January 2019, the GPA, together with UN Environment Programme’s Science and Law Divisions, has launched a five-year project titled “Protecting the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution through Strengthened Coordination of Global Action.” The project aims to strengthen responses to land-based pollution, enhance co-operation and foster action to tackle the issues related to wastewater pollution, nutrient management, and marine litter. For more information, visit the webpage: Global Action to Protect the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution

 


[1] These included sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals, oils (hydrocarbons), nutrients, sediment mobilization, litter, and physical alteration and destruction of habitat.

 

Governing the Global Programme of Action

The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) was created as a unique intergovernmental mechanism to counter the issue of land-based pollution. The GPA was adopted by 108 Governments, and the European Commission at an intergovernmental conference convened in Washington, D.C., in 1995.

The parties set as their common goal sustained and effective action to deal with all land-based impacts upon the marine environment, specifically those resulting from sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals, oils (hydrocarbons), nutrients, sediment mobilization, litter, and physical alteration and destruction of habitat. Since 2012, marine litter, nutrient management, and wastewater have been highlighted as priority source categories to be addressed.

Contact us

GPA Secretariat
Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Branch
Ecosystems Division
UN Environment Programme
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri
P.O. Box 30552, 00100
Nairobi, Kenya 
E-mail: unenvironment-gpaction@un.org