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OCEANS

WORKSHOP ON CORAL REEFS: This workshop, which took place from 29 May - 1 June 1995 in Dumaguete City, the Philippines, was sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative. Representatives from 36 countries, multilateral institutions, NGOs and the private sector attended.

The Workshop produced a "Call for Action," endorsed by the eight country partners of the Initiative, and authored a "Framework for Action" to provide an outline with which stakeholders can coordinate implementation activities. The Initiative is also hosting a series of regional meetings to follow up on the results of this workshop. Three regional meetings have already taken place: the Tropical Americas Regional Meeting in Jamaica from 5-8 July 1995; the South Asian Seas Meeting in the Maldives from 29 November - 3 December 1995; and the Pacific Regional Meeting in Fiji from 27 November - 1 December 1995. Upcoming meetings include the Red Sea/Gulf Regional Meeting in Egypt in January 1996, the West Indian Ocean/East Africa Regional Meeting in the Seychelles and the East Asian Seas Regional Meeting. For more information contact Ms. Susan Drake, Coral Reef Initiative, tel: +1-202-647-0658, fax: +1-202-647-9547.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE TO ADOPT A GLOBAL PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM LAND-BASED ACTIVITIES: Over one hundred countries adopted a Programme of Action aimed at preventing the further degradation of the marine environment at this UNEP-organized Conference, which took place in Washington, DC, from 23 October - 3 November 1995. The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities is designed to assist States in taking practical actions to maintain and improve the productive capacity of the marine environment, to ensure the protection of human health and to promote the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. With nearly 80% of all marine pollution being caused by various human activities on land, the Global Programme of Action not only identifies the problems and ecosystems under particular threat, but also recommends specific practical action at national, regional and international levels to redress it.

Under actions to be taken at the international level, Governments called for specific global measures in two priority areas — the development of a global, legally-binding instrument on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and plans to deal with the inadequate treatment of waste water or sewage.

The Programme of Action also states that UNEP should handle the secretariat functions and should specifically promote its implementation in close partnership with UN agencies, multilateral financial institutions, regional development banks, industry and NGOs. A detailed plan is to be submitted by UNEP early next year outlining the secretariat's structure, the modalities of operation, and how it will coordinate with other agencies, act as the clearing-house and mobilize resources. For more information, contact: Makram Gerges, Acting Director, UNEP Oceans and Coastal Areas, tel: +254-2-62-2015; fax: +254-2-62-2788.

CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: The DPCSD, EarthKind International and the Earth Pledge Foundation co-sponsored this Conference in the Dominican Republic from 29 November - 2 December 1995. The Conference explored a number of topics, including building sustainable infrastructures; financing mechanisms to encourage sustainable tourism; balancing tourist satisfaction, community involvement and employee concerns; investor rewards and environmental protection; and sustainable tourism initiatives and future orientations. For more information, contact Mr. Deonanan Oodit, SIDS Unit, Division for Sustainable Development, DPCSD; tel: +1-212-963-4671; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: oodit@un.org. Information is also available on the Internet at <<http://www.earthpledge.org/>>.

WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, COMPREHENSIVENESS AND CONSISTENCY IN GLOBAL DECISIONS ON OCEANS ISSUES: This workshop, which was co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Brazil, was held in London from 30 November - 2 December 1995. Delegates from approximately 30 governments, 11 intergovernmental organizations and over 30 NGOs participated. Three panel sessions were held during the workshop. Panel One considered the question of "Scientific and Policy Analysis." Panel Two considered the question of "Successful Policy Formulation." Panel Three dealt with "Successful Policy Implementation." The results of these panels were synthesized into a four-page concluding statement. This statement was the subject of much discussion on the last day. Delegates were asked to submit written amendments that would be incorporated into the final draft.

The draft conclusions focus on several key matters, including: international decision-making on environmental issues should be the result of a holistic approach; international decision-making needs to be based on the precautionary and other approaches embodied in the Rio Declaration; best available scientific information that takes into account traditional knowledge should be used; and better interaction between science and policy formulations in understanding and regulating the marine environment is an important objective. The draft conclusions also note that there is general agreement on the need for more effective cooperation and coordination between UN agencies and that it is important to find means for expressing the consensus of national governments on the priorities for global action on the marine environment.

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