A high-level discussion on the protection of marine environment against land-based activities is slated on January 25-27, 2012 at the Third Intergovernmental Review Meeting (IGR3) on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities at EDSA Shangri-la Manila in Mandaluyong City.

Prior to IGR3, a Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connections (GLOC), with the theme: Towards a Greener Coastal Economy, shall be held on January 23-24, 2012, also at EDSA Shangri-la.

Around 500 participants, 200 of whom from different countries around the world, are expected to attend the twin events organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The participants will include representatives from over 70 governments, as well as scientists and marine experts.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos will give the keynote address, while Director Ibarahim Thiaw of UNEP will deliver a message during the opening ceremony of GLOC on Monday.

Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), lead agency in the Philippine hosting of the conference, will deliver the welcome remarks.

Other activities scheduled on the first day of the conference include a presentation by Prof. Joe Alcamo of UNEP’s Foresight Process in Identifying Emerging Global Issues, and group discussions on the following issues: Managing the Global Nutrient Cycle; Marine litter: The role of Global Partnership; Coastal Ecosystems: Values and Services; Wastewater; and Deltas in relation to the declaration of 2013 as the International Year of Deltas.

A side event that concerns SIDA-supported Spatial Planning in the Coastal Zone will also be conducted during the day.

Issues involving Regional Seas the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UN agencies; water resources management; and ecosystem-based coastal planning and management will be discussed on the second day of the conference, with two side events on addressing nutrient reduction and hypoxia through GEF’s catalytic action, and demonstration of policy toolbox in support of making right policy choices to address nutrient of coastal waters by UNEP.


Meanwhile, the succeeding 3-day IGR3 will be comprised of two segments. The technical segment will look into the progress on the implementation of the program of action to protect coastal and marine environment, including the policy issues to further the program’s implementation. The high-level segment will engage ministers to review and decide on the global program of action for 2012-2016, and the adoption of the Manila Declaration, which becomes the body’s input to the Rio+20 Summit in June.

Three side events slated on Wednesday (Jan. 25) include the launching of Green Economy in a Blue World by UNEP, Marine Spatial Planning as an Area-based Management Tool using the Ecosystem Approach, and the GEF International Waters Support for the GPA, including the launch of UNEP-GEF Project on Global Foundations for Reducing Nutrient Enrichment.

Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Sec. Nereus O. Acosta is scheduled to speak on Land-Water Connections: Building Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation as a side event on Thursday, Jan. 26, along with the presentation of the UN-Water Report: Water Resources Management for Rio+20.