The First Intergovernmental Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA)

Montreal, Canada; 26 - 30 November 2001


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HIGHLIGHTS FOR FRIDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2001

 



On the final day of
the Intergovernmental Review (IGR) on Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), delegates convened in Plenary and  heard statements from ministers and high-level officials. Following the conclusion of high-level statements, Chair Dhaliwal presented the final draft of the Montreal Declaration for adoption.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT:




SAMOA stressed that basic sanitation is a pressing issue for many developing countries, and that wastewater treatment relies upon international funding. He urged the GPA Coordination Office to expand its capacity building and demonstration initiatives in the Pacific region.



PAPUA NEW GUINEA (left) noted that the majority of its population lives in rural communities and practices traditional methods of waste and sewage disposal, and recommended that UNEP and the GPA Coordination Office conduct research into alternative waste and sewage management practices that are appropriate and within the financial means of traditional rural communities.




TAJIKISTAN (left) elaborated on its achievements in environmental policy, and said newly independent states need greater attention and financial support. He stressed the need to coordinate efforts in sustainable development and to create economic incentives for environmentally sound practices.




BANGLADESH (right) called for financial and technical support for national and regional GPA implementation.

MONTREAL DECLARATION:




In a preambular paragraph listing concerns related to the marine environment, the US, AUSTRALIA, ICELAND (left) and JAPAN objected to a subparagraph on the expected impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.




The US recognized the relationship between climate and oceans, but stated that it was beyond the scope of the meeting, as climate change is not a land-based source of marine pollution.




SWITZERLAND urged retaining the reference as a means of building synergies, and strongly cautioned delegations against backtracking on the recent Marrakesh agreement on climate change.




Delegates agreed to delete the reference to the �legal and policy� framework and acknowledge that UNCLOS and Agenda 21 provide �the key framework� for GPA implementation. Delegates then adopted the Montreal Declaration with these and other minor amendments.

CLOSING PLENARY:
 




Rapporteur Franklin McDonald (Jamaica) (left) introduced the report of the meeting (UNEP/GPA/IGR.1/L.1 and L.1/Add.1), which summarizes the IGR�s proceedings. He noted that the following are annexed to the report: an outline of information on regional seas activities; the Co-Chairs� conclusions from the meeting; and a series of NGO statements. Delegates adopted the report as presented.

Klaus T�pfer, UNEP Executive Director (photo below) , thanked delegates for their hard work and for their backing of the GPA Coordination Office�s work. He expressed his conviction that UNEP is well-positioned to host the GPA Secretariat, and that the GPA is clearly linked with UNEP�s other activities on freshwater, technology transfer, and regional seas, among others.
He stressed the need for even greater coordination with organizations both within and beyond the UN system, particularly on financial issues, and stated that the Montreal Declaration�s recommendations provide the backing to do so. He thanked the Chair, the Co-Chairs, the Bureau, and the Declaration drafting group, and affirmed that the Secretariat would do its utmost to implement the meetings� recommendations. 


Chair Dhaliwal said it was heartening that the international community had come together at this meeting to send a clear message of commitment to protecting the marine environment for future generations. He stressed the need and responsibility to translate their words into action to stop the degradation of the oceans, and stated that the meeting�s outcomes represented a significant step toward this goal. He officially gaveled the meeting to a close at 1:35 pm on Friday, 30 November.
Links
GPA Website 
GPA preparatory documents  and information for participants (pdf)
GPA IGR NEWSLETTER
CBD: Jakarta Manadate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

 


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