This Issue Brief challenges participants to the 3rd UN Ocean Conference in Nice (France, June 2025), to discuss and address the following question: “What must governments specifically do at national, regional and global levels to rapidly accelerate the implementation of precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches to coastal pollution?”.

IDDRI acknowledges the Oceano Azul Foundation for the initiative to develop this Issue Brief, and its associated Note, and for its financial support. These documents are of the full responsibility of the co-authors above identified and their organizations. Their content will be discussed in dedicated meetings and workshops over the coming months, and a final version will be published by the end of 2024.

Read the Note

Key Messages

  • The 1995 Washington Declaration and Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) was for a long time the primary global instrument recommending practices and procedures for addressing land-based sources of marine pollution in a holistic manner. However, after thirty years of limited funding and lacklustre implementation, identifying locations where the GPA has been the primary driving force of domestic reform is extremely difficult.
  • Despite some success, initiatives developed at the regional level, especially through regional seas programs, often face major implementation issues. In the same way, donor initiatives often lead to local success, but are regularly hampered by the funding, with larger sums, of activities and practices that are harmful for the marine environment.
  • Overall, while localized success stories are not entirely absent and much has been learned regarding domestic implementation, the marine environment continues to receive unacceptable levels of pollutants from land-based activities via subterranean, riverine and atmospheric vectors.
  • In 2025, the international community will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Washington Declaration and the inception of the GPA. This significant milestone coincides with the organization of the 3rd United Nations Ocean Conference, scheduled to convene in Nice (France). This juncture offers a timely opportunity for the global community to initiate a new phase in combating land-based pollution.
Download the publication

PDF - 353.23 KB

4 pages