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Introduction and overview of GESAMP activities with reference to pollutant indicators for the transboundary water assessment programme (TWAP)

Keenan, Helen and Huber, Michael and Peter, Kershaw and Bowmer, Tim (2011) Introduction and overview of GESAMP activities with reference to pollutant indicators for the transboundary water assessment programme (TWAP). In: 10th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, 2011-07-24 - 2011-07-29. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) is an advisory body, established in 1969, that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. At present GESAMP is jointly sponsored by nine UN organizations with responsibilities relating to the marine environment, and they utilize GESAMP as a mechanism for coordination and collaboration among them. GESAMP functions are to conduct and support marine environmental assessments, to undertake in-depth studies, analyses, and reviews of specific topics, and to identify emerging issues regarding the state of the marine environment. Studies and assessments are usually carried out by dedicated working groups, most of whose members are not sitting members of GESAMP but part of the broader GESAMP network. This presentation will describe and review the current role of GESAMP with particular reference to the UNEP/GEF TWAP (Trans boundary Waters Assessment Programme) Among the constraints to effective management of transboundary waters is the lack of a systematic and scientifically-robust methodology for assessing the changing conditions of the five different types of trans boundary water systems resulting from human and natural causes, which would allow the policy makers, Global Environment Facility and international organisations to set science-based priorities for financial resource allocation. Such a methodology also would facilitate identification and assessment of positive changes in the environmental and resources situations in the trans boundary water systems resulting from interventions by national authorities and international/regional communities. Such a global, comprehensive assessment has not yet been undertaken. However GESAMP is actively involved in the development of an improved, ecosystem-based methodology in Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) through pollutant indicators such as mercury and its compounds, POPs and other pollutants that cross trans boundary water systems. The efforts of the GESAMP initiative to this programme will be fully discussed.