Third intergovernmental review meeting (IGR-3) of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, Manila, January 2012.

IGR-3The third intergovernmental review meeting (IGR-3) of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) was held in Manila, The Philippines, from January 25 to 27, 2012. The meeting was attended by representatives of 65 Governments and the European Commission.

The goals of the meeting were to review the implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities at the international, regional and national levels. It was the third session that was held pertaining to the Programme. The three-day event was characterized by an exchange of diverse views by participants on the path forward in GPA adoption.

Emphasis was put on national implementation, with coastal management initiatives and "green" investments being singled out as critical goals of an effective GPA. The gathering was an opportunity to discuss not only what GPA priorities should be (opinions differed), but also what tools member states will need to successfully implement the Programme over time. Crucial resources mentioned included global partnerships, capacity building initiatives, financing, and information sharing capabilities.

In addition, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) introduced the Honolulu Strategy to the IGR-3 meeting. Delegates emphasized the relevance of the Honolulu Commitment endorsed at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in 2011, and the Honolulu Strategy. They decided to work with all stakeholders concerned to find innovative solutions and initiatives to address the marine litter problem, including by sharing best practices, technical information about capacity building, and legal, policy, community-based, economic and market-based means of preventing, reducing and managing marine litter. They also recommended the establishment of a global partnership on marine litter which UNEP will develop in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The IGR-3 meeting ended with a signing of the Manila Declaration stressing the continued commitment of members to the further implementation of the GPA.

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