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Regional Seas News - Archive

Climate Change Threat to Pacific Ocean Mangroves

Nairobi, Apia, Honolulu, 18 July 2006 - Action is needed to conserve mangroves in the Pacific amid concern that rising sea levels, linked with climate change, are set to drown large areas of these precious and economically important ecosystems. more ...


Action Urged to Avoid Deep Trouble in the Deep Seas

New York, 16 June 2006 - Swift and wide ranging actions are needed to conserve the world’s entire marine environment amid fears that humankind’s exploitation of the deep seas and open oceans is rapidly passing the point of no return. more ...


Financing for the Environmental Conservation of the Rea Sea and Gulf of Aden

UNEP Regional Seas Programme (UNEP RSP) in collaboration with the GPA’s financing programme and the Regional Environment Programme for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), published the report “Financing for the Environmental Conservation of the Rea Sea and Gulf of Aden” in January 2006. The report focuses on three financing challenges facing PERSGA, reviews the financing mechanisms available to support environmental activities, and presents methods, tools and options to strengthen the implementation of PERSGA at both the regional and national level. The report presents the fundamentals of environmental financing, addresses financing for protection of the marine environment from land-based sources, and highlights the financial constraints and prioritization of PERSGA’s action. When the report was presented at the 7th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas, 18-20th October 2005 in Helsinki, Finland, other RSPs found the report to be highly valuable and relevant to their own programmes, and recommended that it be adapted into a global version, with wider applicability, which is currently being done. [Download]


UN Coordination on Marine Protected Areas

During the Third Global Conference on Islands, Coasts and Oceans in Paris in January 2006, UNEP RSP formed a “United Nations Partnership” on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO-World Heritage Convention, UNESCO- Man and Biosphere, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), initially aimed at sharing and make available information on current activities and identifying primary areas for cooperation. The partnership will consider needs and modalities for further collaboration among the participating agencies and identify activities to be implemented in the short-term and their associated costs, with a view to mobilize internal or additional resources to perform the tasks. This informal partnership may propose to formalize itself as a MPA task force under UN-OCEANS at its next meeting. more...


The 2nd IMO/UNEP Forum

The 2nd IMO/UNEP Forum on Regional Co-operation in Combating Marine Pollution (London 3-6 May 2006) was organized by IMO’s Marine Environment Division and UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme. The first forum was held in October 2002. Participants were mainly Regional Seas coordinators, directors of oil spill preparedness and Response RACs and relevant representatives of the oil and shipping industries. The meeting, which aimed at bringing various regions together for experience and knowledge sharing and exchange, focused on presentations and subsequent discussions on topics related to oil spill preparedness and response, mainly in the regional and sub-regional levels. The main topics discussed: Legal and institutional frameworks and instruments for cooperation; Regional Activity Centres-advantages and challenges; Case studies in response and cooperation; Cooperation with the industry; Emerging topics and new challenges (including a presentation by Ulrik Weuder on economic instruments).The Forum concluded its work by producing a series of conclusions and recommendations to IMO, UNEP, the various RSPs and the industry.

The final recommendations focused on the following subjects:

  • Critical elements for strong regional cooperation;
  • Key elements to ensure long term sustainability and success of regional cooperation;
  • Ways to overcome barriers in regional cooperation;
  • Bridging gaps between partners with differing levels of capacity;
  • Cooperation between governments and industry;
  • Engagement of relevant partners; legal frameworks;
  • the Regional Activity Centers as platforms for regional cooperation.


Regional Seas and Invasive Species

UNEP RSP is currently supporting the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) for the development of: 1. a brochure on Marine Invasive Species and the Regional Seas Programme and 2. a needs assessment in the Regional Seas programmes on Marine and Coastal IAS. more...


GEF MSP Management of Marine Litter

UNEP RSP has developed a draft Global Environment Facility Medium-Sized Project (GEF-MSP) on the sustainable management of marine litter, designed to accelerate international action to reduce the entry of litter into the ocean on a global scale. The objectives of this project are: 1) to develop assessment and review mechanisms relating to marine litter mitigation and prevention applicable at the regional level; 2) apply these mechanisms in selected pilot regions as a basis for formulating regional action plans for addressing the problem of marine litter; and 3) to review and evaluate the pilot regional applications of the procedures, as a means of preparing a globally-applicable framework for the implementation of measures to reduce marine litter from all sources at regional levels, which include indicators of success.


UNEP Regional Seas action on the West African Manatee

UNEP/RSP is supporting the Abidjan Convention (the Regional Seas programme for Western Africa) in the preparation of a Regional Status report and preliminary Conservation Strategy for the West African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) throughout its range. The activity started at the end of 2005. The Conservation Strategy will include a current status report of the West African Manatee, identification of threats and recommendations for protection, including a description of the roles of different stakeholders. Sirennews [377kb]


UNEP and CMS Conserving Marine Mammals

UNEP RSP is supporting the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Seas and the Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) for the further development of a Pedagogic Training Kit on Cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS area.

The Training Kit is currently in draft format and UNEP RSP and UNEP/CMS are supporting the finalization of the Training Kit, which will include: final design, editing, printing, packaging and distribution. The objective of this Memorandum is to strengthen the cooperation between ACCOBAMS, UNEP RSP and UNEP/CMS to further develop the Training Kit on cetaceans in ACCOBAMS area which aims to serve as a useful supportive tool for high level training and compiles and synthesizes the most important and most useful information regarding the Mediterranean and Black Sea cetaceans, in order to make it easily accessible and usable for the new comers in this field.

Review of Small Cetaceans: Distribution, Behaviour, Migration and Threats

Recently Launched: Joint UNEP and CMS publication: Review of Small Cetaceans; Distribution, Behaviour, Migration and Threats. by Boris Culik.

Invitation Leaflet [248 KB]

Press Release: Fishing Nets Major Risk for Small Cetaceans

Marine Mammal Action Plan / Regional Seas Reports and Studies no. 177 by Boris M. Culik Illustrations by Maurizio Wurtz, Artescienza

7th Global Meeting of Regional Seas Conventions and action Plans

The Seventh Global Meeting of Regional Seas Conventions and action Plans has been held in Helsinki, Finland, on 18-20 October 2005.

The meeting focused on the long term financial sustainability of the RSCAPs and it addressed the challenges and processes involved in financing Regional Seas secretariats and programme implementation. more...


Regional Seas and FAO

An MoU was developed between UNEP and FAO for the review of available relevant information and the preparation of a document on Marine Litter and Abandoned/Lost Fishing Gear.

The objective of the MoU is to strengthen the cooperation between FAO and UNEP through developing of a study and a document on Marine Litter and Abandoned/Lost Fishing Gear based on a comprehensive review of available information related to this subject.

RSP participated in the 4th Global Meeting of FAO Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFB) held in Rome, 14-15 March, 2005 and presented a paper titled: Ecosystem Based Management of Fisheries – strengthening co-operation between UNEP and FAO, the Regional Seas Programme and the Regional Fishery Bodies.


Regional Seas Action on Marine Litter

Activities in the regions.
Regional Seas has been developing Marine Litter pilot activities in the Caribbean, South Asian Seas (SACEP), Black Sea, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), South East Pacific (CPPS) and East Africa. The actvities in each region differ slightly form each other, but overall, these pilot activities fit within the framework initiative on Marine Litter. more...


Looking for Synergy in Achieving Biodiversity Millennium Goals in the Black Sea

Regional Seas supported the workshop as part of it's focus on marine and coastal biodiversity issues and it's cooperation with CBD. The overall objective of the workshop was to harmonize approaches, actions, research and educational activities for the protection and conservation of the Black Sea biodiversity, taking into consideration global, European and regional obligations of the Black Sea coastal states. more...


Regional Seas and LMEs

In promoting integrated management based on ecosystem approaches, UNEP Regional Seas Programme jointly with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has produced a brochure that includes a map overlay of Regional Seas and Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs),reflects the 64 LMEs of the world and provides a list of GEF-LME projects within the Regional Seas.

This partnership focuses on the assessment and management of LMEs located in Regional Seas areas and promotes cooperation. UNEP/RSP signed an MOU with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in collaboration with NOAA-LME to undertake the economic valuation of goods and services for each of the world's Large Marine Ecosystems.

The outcome will present a comparison of the value of regional marine sectors with the potential amount of funding to be made available by the donor community and the next replenishment of the GEF.

[Download brochure] - PDF 564 KB


Cooperation between Regional Seas and IOC GOOS

An MoU between the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC of UNESCO) and UNEP, approved by the 37th Session of the IOC Executive Council meeting in Paris, 23-29 June 2004, was signed by UNEP and IOC in March 2005. more..


First Regional Partners Workshop in East Asian Region

The UNEP Regional Seas Programme & GPA assisted to facilitate the First Regional Partners Workshop on Regional Coordination Mechanisms in the East Asian Seas Region that took place in Bangkok, Thailand, 9-10th May 2005.

The workshop brought together several major programmes/projects in the region relating to the protection and sustainable use of the marine and coastal environment of the East Asian Seas, and provided an opportunity to discuss on how on enhance cooperation, build networks and strengthen national capacities of countries and sub-regional intergovernmental bodies in the region.

A brainstorming meeting was also held thereafter on 11th of May, 2005 with the National Focal Points to discuss a new Strategic Direction of COBSEA, setting priorities on revitalising COBSEA as an effective policy-oriented forum that is geared towards better coordination of activities in the region.


The Northwest Pacific Action Plan

In the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) four staff members were recruited for the newly established Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) for NOWPAP co-hosted in Toyama, Japan and Busan, Korea.

The Coordinator and Financial Officer are based in Toyama and the Deputy Coordinator and Scientific Officer are based in Busan. The RCU started it operations in January 2005 and three RCU staff visited Nairobi in February 2005 to meet with people in HRMS and BFMS and other UNEP Divisions and to receive training on IMIS, E-Pas etc.


The "Sea to Sea" Regional Forum

RSP supported the Second "Sea to Sea" Regional Forum, 14-16 February 2005 in Cairo Egypt, through funding the participation of other Regional Seas Programmes to the conference. Some of these along with their delegates, also represented the Tsunami affected countries.

The Forum was organized by PERSGA in collaboration with the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment of Saudi Arabia, ROPME, UNEP, UNDP, World Bank, and Islamic Development Bank. PERSGA took the opportunity to showcase major achievements of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) for the Red Sea. This was a five-year programme that started in end1998 and was recently concluded in 2004.


Regional Seas and Coral Reefs

A joint publication based of papers presented at the ICRAN Session at the Second International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium, held in Manila, the Philippines, 24-27 March 2003 has been published in December 2004 entitled: “People and Reefs: Successes and Challenges in the Management of Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas” was published in November 2004 as UNEP Regional Seas Report and Studies # 176.

The publication details experiences and lessons learnt from ICRAN field sites in Regional Seas around the world.

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