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.

The implementation of the GPA is primarily the task of governments in close partnership with all stakeholders, including international and public organizations, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The GPA, together with its partners and through the three global partnerships on marine litter, nutrient, and wastewater management, is facilitating and assisting governments in their tasks.

So far, the Intergovernmental Review Meeting (IGR) had been organized every 5 years. The IGR is a forum where governments and other stakeholders meet to review the status of the implementation of the GPA and decide on the action to be taken to strengthen its implementation.

Four intergovernmental meetings have been held so far:

The 1st IGR Meeting was held in Montreal, Canada, in 2001

The 2nd IGR Meeting was held in Beijing, China, in October 2006

The 3rd IGR Meeting was held in Manila, the Philippines, in January 2012

The 4th IGR Meeting was held in Bali, Indonesia, in October 2018