ROPME Sea Area

International actors and agreements in the region

The Gulf Region has been designated as a Special Area for the purpose of Annex I (oil) to MARPOL 73/78. ROPME Member States have agreed to establish a network of reception facilities for oily waste and other wastes in accordance with the Special Area provisions. UNEP is participating in the Task Team for a regional arrangement for reception facilities (to be implemented by the private sector).

See Global action and Global actors.

UNEP Regional Seas Programme. ••>

UNEP Global programme of action for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities (UNEP GPA). ••>

UNEP Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA). ••>

UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). ••>

International Coral Reef Initiative and other organizations and networks on the threats to coral reefs, including the effects of litter/debris.

Regional conventions, agreements, action plans and actors

Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution (Kuwait Convention). • Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME). • See also Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC). ••>

Kuwait Convention Action Plan. ••>

Jeddah Memorandum of Understanding • Jeddah Declaration. ••>

Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) • Abu Dhabi Declaration. ••>

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). ••>

Regional Organisation for Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA). •>

Private sector and NGOs actors and initiatives

Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO). ••>

Saudi Aramco in central Saudi Arabia: Maintaining operations in a sensitive environment. Case study presented by IPIECA.

Oilwatch. ••>

International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). ••>

International Directory of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors and Response Organisations. ••>

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA). ••>

Regional reports on the state of the environment

"Desk Study on the Environment in Iraq". Study (April 2003) by UNEP's Post Conflict Assessment Unit (PCAU). A preliminary assessment of the most pressing environmental challenges facing those involved in the post-conflict humanitarian relief and reconstruction effort. Prepared in collaboration with relevant UNEP-GRID centers, and with the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA). As for the impact of oil on the marine environment, there had at the time of writing been no reports on any major marine pollution incidents in the Gulf.

UNEP Regional Office for West Asia: State of the Environment in West Asia: "In West Asia, the challenges that are associated with marine and coastal issues include oil pollution, sewage and other land-based effluents, the physical alternation of coastal areas, including land-filling, dredging, and modification of river course". -- The regional marine environment has been subjected to pressures from an unprecedented rate of industrial and urban growth, over 75 per cent of which has been in the coastal areas.  The two Gulf Wars in the region have worsened the situation by depositing oil and oil-burn products into the marine environment in addition to the physical destruction of industrial and agriculture infrastructure in the Shat Al-Arab estuary area."

UNEP GPA: Overviews on Land-based Sources and Activities Affecting the Marine Environment in the ROPME Sea Area. According to the report, as much a two million barrels of oil could be spilled into the waters of the region every year from operational discharges from tankers and platforms. It is further stated that discharges from tankers of crude and fuel oil wastes remain the most serious marine pollution problem of the region. As a consequence, oil and hydrocarbons are rated has the issue having the highest priority in the region.

UNEP GPA: ROPME Sea Region (brief description of environmental state, priority issues).

UNEP: Global Environment Outlook 3 (GEO3). Coastal and marine areas.

University of Rhode Island: Large Marine Ecosystems (LME): The Region comprises a part of the Arabian Sea LME.

The release of oil in Kuwait, Persian Gulf, during the Gulf War in 1991, was the largest oil spill in history so far.

Unburned oil at the Bergan oil field in Kuwait. Photo: ©NOAA Photo Gallery.