ROPME Sea Area




Kuwait Convention +ROPME + MEMAC

The Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution was adopted in 1978 and came into force in 1979. An Action Plan was adopted in 1978. The objective of the Convention is to prevent, abate, and combat pollution of the marine environment in the region. It has four protocols:

  • Protocol Concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency; adopted 1978, in force 1979.
  • Protocol Protocol for the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution from Land-Based Sources; adopted 1990, in force 1993.
  • Protocol on the Control of Marine Transboundary Movements and Disposal of Hazardous Wastes; adopted 1998

In 1982, in connection with the adoption of the Protocol oncerning co-operation in combating pollution by oil and other harmful substances in cases of emergency, the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) was established within the framework of the Convention. UNEP is also cooperating with ROPME/MEMAC on the development of guidelines for environmental damage assessment and preparation of compensation claims in cases of oil spills.

The high priority put on combatting oil and hydrocarbon pollution is reflected also in the protocol on land-based sources. According to its Annex I, regional regulations along with programmes, measures and timetables required for the implementation, should be developed on a priority basis, inter alia, for the following types of wastes:

  • Ballast water, slops, bilges and other oily water discharges generated by land-based reception facilities and ports through loading and repair operations.
  • Brine water and mud discharges from oil and gas drilling and extraction activities from land-based sources.
  • Oily and toxic sludges from crude oil and refined products storage facilities.
  • Effluents and emissions from petroleum refineries.
  • Effluents and emissions from petrochemical and fertilizer plants.
  • Emissions from natural gas flaring and desulfurization plants.

In order to implement the Kuwait Convention, its Protocols, and the Action Plan, the Regional Organisation for the Protection of Marine Environment (ROPME) was established in 1979.

Jedda MoU
The Jeddah Memorandum of Understanding aims at "strengthening cooperation and coordination in the planning and implementation of global and regional environmental programmes in West Asia". It was signed in 1998, between UNEP and the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), PERSGA, and ROPME.

Jeddah Declaration
The Jeddah Declaration, signed in 2000, "considers urgent environmental issues from an Islamic perspective on the basis of the universality of Islam, in the sense that it is a religion that addresses all man kind. It aims to integrate ethical and moral component into environmental policies. --- Within the framework of its global environment programme, UNEP would provide technical support and facilitate the linkage between its various global and regional programmes, with those developed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), regarding the integration of ethical and moral components into their programmes".

Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment + Abu Dhabi Declaration
"Recognizing the urgent need to develop a clear vision and strategy for the future of a well-identified Arab environmental action, the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration in 2001. The Declaration stresses the urgent need to alleviate poverty and improve the living standards and economic conditions of the average Arab citizen through programmes of sustainable development and environmental protection, based on the rational use of natural resources". It "calls for a new strategy based on a deeper understanding of the global developments in the various fields of environmental action:
  • the application of modern environmental information  and accounting systems to help decision makers realize the feasibility of investing in environment-friendly practices;
  • the adoption of Cleaner Production strategies;
  • capacity building and institutional development through the development of human resources, the improvement of  educational systems, and encouraging  Arab media to project a better understanding  and in-depth analysis of regional and international environmental issues, and realizing that civil society must be empowered to play a more effective role in environmental decision-making". 

Gulf Cooperation Council
The objectives of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Secretariat General (Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC) is "to effect coordination, integration and inter-connection between Member States in all fields, strengthening ties between their peoples, formulating similar regulations in various fields such as economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, administration, as well as fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, establishing scientific research centres, setting up joint ventures, and encouraging cooperation of the private sector".

In the field of environmental cooperation, the GCC states the following: "In view of the common developmental and environmental problems and conditions in GCC States, as a result of geographic proximity and similar level of development, the GCC adopted, in 1985, a strategic framework for environmental work at local and regional levels under the title of "General Policies and Principles for Environment Protection". It aims at formulating proper scientific formula to protect the environment and maintain the natural resources in a way that complies with the goals of comprehensive development and realizes the optimum benefit of available human and natural potentials of the Member States.
Moreover, GCC States act to unify all regulations, laws, and legislations that deal with the various aspects of the environment. These regulations, laws, and legislations represent the minimum requirements to enact national legislations."

The mission of UNEP Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) is to link and integrate the environmental priorities and programmes of West Asia with the global environmental programmes of UNEP.  "The coordination established with CAMRE, PERSGA, and ROPME is a major step towards enhancing cooperation in the region.  The support provided by the Bahrain, the host country, and the GCC contributes significantly to the sustainability of UNEP’s efforts in the region".

Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), is an official regional organization based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, responsible for the developmentand implementation of regional programmes for the protection and conservation of the marine environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and was formally established in 1996, with the signing of the Cairo Declaration by all cooperating parties to the Jeddah Convention. Major functions of PERSGA include the implementation of the Jeddah Convention, the Action Plan, and the Protocol. The organization has also been given responsibility for the preparation and implementation of the Strategic Action Programme (SAP) and related activities. PERSGA has played an active role in promoting regional cooperation and has recently supported regional workshops concerning environmental assessment (EA), Marine Protected Areas, navigation risks and living marine resources.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has a mandate for raising the level of economic development and cooperation among the countries of its region and between them and other parts of the world. The Natural Resources and Environment Management Programme under its Energy, Natural Resources and Environment Division includes a water resources component covering issues like assessment of water resources in ESCWA member states; harmonisation of environmental standards in the water sector of ESCWA member states; and Progress achieved in the implementation of chapter 18 of Agenda 21.

Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO) is an oil industry co-operative organisation functioning on the concept of "mutual aid". RECSO was officially set up in 1972 by 13 founder members. The oil companies in the region at that time recognised a need for collective response to major oil pollution incidents and thus came together to achieve a common objective - protecting the Gulf's resources from oil pollution. The prime responsibility of RECSO today is to protect the marine environment in the Gulf from oil pollution emanating from operations of RECSO member oil companies in the region. Each member oil company shares the responsibility of ensuring a long-term commitment to the "Clean Gulf" concept. RECSO recognises this pledge and co-ordinates efforts towards meeting this challenge.