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Earlier Initiatives

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Earlier Initiatives


The process which culminated at the Stockholm Conference in 1998 marked a turning point in ACOPS’ work. ACOPS’ activities shifted from an emphasis on policy, institutional and environmental analysis to the application of this expertise and knowledge for the development of concrete proposals for projects and actions. Earlier activities are described below.


Local Authorities


Meeting for the Constitution of the Working Group on Protection of the Marine Environment of European Municipalities held in Lisbon, 30 June 1998.


  • ACOPS organized a Workshop on the occasion of EXPO’ 98 to commemorate the International Year of Oceans which dealt with the Development and Implementation of Economic Instruments for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment by Local Governments, June 1998. The Workshop adopted the Lisbon Charter on Economic Instruments, and constituted a Working Group on Protection of the Marine Environment.


  • Workshop on Implementation of the Marine Section of Agenda 21 by Local Authorities, organised by ACOPS together with the Lisbon City Council in May 1993.  ACOPS subsequently organised a training programme for local authorities in the Philippines and South East Asia in general.


  • Development of guidelines for the implementation of the Draft Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 - ACOPS Conference held in the European Parliament, Brussels, 3 - 5 July, 1991.


  • In the 1980s, ACOPS provided the technical secretariat to the Working Group on Marine Pollution to the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, principally on public awareness campaigns on various aspects of marine pollution. Following the adoption of Agenda 21, a special charter was devoted to the so-called Local Agenda 21 (Chapter 28), which recognized the important role and responsibilities of local authorities.


  • ACOPS has assisted the work of local authorities since its inception in 1952. 



South East Asia


  • Participation in 1992 in the Asian and Pacific branch of the International Union of Local Authorities in Jakarta for the implementation of Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 (the so called "Local Agenda 21").  Following this initiative ACOPS ran a series of training seminars with LOGODEF in the Philippines in 1993 and 1994. Over 60 mayors, governors and other local and central government officials from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and New Zealand were assembled at ACOPS first capacity building programme for South East Asian local authorities that was held in Pattaya, Thailand from 8 - 10 August, 1994. It was sponsored by the Urban Management Programme of UNDP, HABITAT, the World Bank, and the Regional Coordinating Unit of the East Asian Seas Programme of UNEP, the IOC of UNESCO and the Government of Sweden. Results of ACOPS' work were reported to the 11th meeting of Plenipotentiaries on the East Asian Seas Action Plan (COBSEA), 27 - 28 October, 1994.


  • Meeting of the environment ministers of East Asian countries entitled "National and Regional Application of the Washington Global Programme of Action in the East Asian Seas" held in Manila, Philippines in 1996. The meeting explored measures for regional implementation of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) in East Asian Seas and proposed principles, strategies and elements for a regional programme of action. In November 1997, Philippine President Ramos reviewed the level of implementation of programmes on protection of marine environment, which had been carried out in the Philippines since ACOPS' Manila Conference in 1996 during the Asia-Pacific Clean up the World Conference and El Niño Summit, also held in Manila.


The Wider Caribbean


  • With the support of ACOPS, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) of Jamaica held a first meeting in November 2000, in Kingston, during which a multidisciplinary and widely representative group of stakeholders formally decided to undertake the development of a National Programme of Action in the framework of the GPA. These developments constitute important benchmarks towards fulfilment of the LBS Protocol to the Cartagena Convention, adopted in 1999. ACOPS developed a proposed structure for development of a NPA-LBA, and prepared a paper “Tools and Methods for Identification and Prioritisation of Issues and Causes of Environmental Degradation”. 


  • Previously, ACOPS’ focus in the region had been on the Sustainable Development of Tourism. A workshop, assembling some 100 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and Jamaica, was held in Mexico City, 18 - 20 April, 1995. It was sponsored by the Commission of the European Union, UNEP, Puerto Rico, IOC of UNESCO and UNDP, and its recommendations were geared towards strengthening the preparatory work for the Washington Conference that adopted the GPA at the end of 1995. ACOPS’ work in this field was welcomed by the 11th Meeting of Environment Ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Lima, 10 to 13 March 1998.


East Africa


  • ACOPS' East African programme focused on the sustainable development of tourism within the region, and was launched at the workshop Sustainable Development of Tourism in the Eastern African Region held from 20 - 22 October 1996 in the Seychelles.


The Middle East


  • ACOPS’ work aimed at the promotion of inter-regional co-operation amongst countries that are members of the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) and members of the Programme for the Protection of the Environment of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (PERSGA).  More than 200 representatives from the region assembled in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 9 - 12 October 1995 at an ACOPS "Sea to Sea" Conference. One of the main purposes was to provide assistance to countries of the PERSGA area to develop their programmes on the protection of the coastal and marine environment and thus assist the effective implementation of the 1982 Jeddah Convention.  It was sponsored by the Government of Saudi Arabia, private companies from the region, UNEP, UNDP, PERSGA and the Governing Council of ROPME, Kuwait.


Basel Convention


  • ACOPS Conference on Implementation of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes, held at IMO, London, 3 - 5 October, 1989.





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