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Key Issues

Coastal Area Management

Coastal Zone Management

From the earliest days of the Regional Seas Programme, environmental management has always been a key chapter of the Regional Seas action plans, beginning with the Mediterranean. more...

Coastal Development

Some 37% of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coast, at a population density twice the global average. more...

Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Coral reefs

Coral reefs are among the most productive and diverse of all natural ecosystems. Recent decades have been catastrophic for them, however; some 10% of the world’s reefs may already have been degraded beyond recovery, and another 30% are in decline. more...

Marine Mammals

Many species of whales, seals and dolphins are threatened world-wide. Hundreds of thousands of dolphins and whales die each year in fishing nets. more...

Marine Protected Areas

The RSCAPs are considered to have a major role to play in the promotion of the Jakarta Mandate of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the regional level. more...

UNEP Regional Seas Programme and Marine and Coastal Invasives - April 2006

Our mandate can be found in CBD decisions VI/23 1/ and VII/5. Decision VI/23 2/ paragraph 26(e) requested the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and other relevant organizations, to develop a joint programme of work on invasive alien species (IAS). more...

Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs)

Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) are regions of ocean encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and the outer margins of the major current systems. These areas of the ocean are characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity and trophic interaction. They provide a flexible approach to ecosystem-based management by identifying driving forces of ecosystem change, within the framework of sustainable development. LMEs are located within Regional Seas areas. more...

Land-based Sources of Pollution

Municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes and run-off account for as much as 80% of all marine pollution. Sewage and waste water, persistent organic pollutants (including pesticides), heavy metals, oils, nutrients and sediments. more...

Marine Litter

Marine litter is a comprehensive problem, with significant implications for the environment and human activity all over the world. It is found in all seas - not only in densely populated regions, but also in remote places far away from any obvious sources. more...

Shipping and Sea-based Pollution

Some 20% of sea pollution comes from the deliberate dumping of oil and other wastes from ships, from accidental spills and offshore oil drilling. more...

Small Islands

Environmental pressures take a particular toll on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), whose size and isolation make them vulnerable to extinctions, habitat loss, and sea-level rise. more...