NOAA and the Secretariat of the Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP/GPA) entered into an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2004 at the White Water to Blue Water Conference in Miami. The MOU established a framework for collaboration on activities related to coastal and marine pollution originating from land and coastal degradation, within the Wider Caribbean region and established a NOAA-GPA Program Office within the NOS’s Staff Office for International Programs. The DAS for IA has the overall policy lead for GPA and the Program Office was created to implement the GPA.
The function of the Program Office is to provide direct technical assistance and advice to governments in the Wider Caribbean in the development of their National Programs of Action (NPA) to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities.
NOAA is currently engaged in assisting twelve countries in the development of their NPA’s:
|Suriname||Trinidad & Tobago|
Implementing the GPA provides an ecosystem approach to coastal management. Reducing land-based pollution and improving management of the shared waters of the Wider Caribbean was identified in the U.S. Ocean Action Plan as an international priority. Further, the VADM signed the MOU with UNEP in March 2004 to begin this program.