Regional Organization for the Protection
of the Marine Environment

Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution (full document)

The Convention is the basic legal instrument binding the eight States of the Region to coordinate their activities towards protection of their common marine environment. The Convention consists of thirty Articles broadly dealing with responsibilities of the Contracting States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment which is under constant threat of pollution from offshore and land-based activities as well as marine transport. The Convention was adopted with the objective to ensure that development projects and other human activities do not in any way cause damage to the marine environment, jeopardize its living resources or create hazards to human health. Another objective of the Convention was the development of an integrated management approach to the use of the marine environment and the coastal areas in a sustainable way which will allow the achievement of environmental and developmental goals in a harmonious manner. To this effect, the importance of cooperation and coordination of action on a regional basis with the aim of protecting the marine environment and the coastal areas for the benefit of present and future generations, is emphasized throughout the Convention. The Convention which was signed on 24 April 1978, entered into force on l July 1979 and enjoys the participation of eight Parties. No Signatories without ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

The Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), as defined in Article XVI of the Convention, was established on 1 July 1979 to implement the Kuwait Action Plan, as well as the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols. Subsequently, based on the arrangements adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries, a UNEP Interim Secretariat administered the programmes and activities of the Organization until the establishment of the ROPME Secretariat in Kuwait on 1 January 1982.

The Convention shall apply to the sea area in the Region bounded in the south by the following thumb lines: from Ras Dharbat Ali in (160 39 / N, 530 3 / 30//E) then to a position in (160 00/ N, 530 25/E) then to a position in (170 00/ N, 560 30/E) then to a position in (200 30/ N, 600 00/E) then to Ras Al Fasteh (250 04 / N, 610 25 / E), referred to as the “Sea Area”. The Sea Area shall not include internal waters of the Contracting States unless it is otherwise stated in the Convention or in any of its Protocols. That part of the Sea Area located north-west of the thumb-line between Ras Al Hadd (22030 / N, 59048 / E) and Ras Al Fasteh (25004 / N, 61025 / E) is designated by MARPOL 73/78 as a “Special Area”.

Regional Legal Instruments

With a view of strengthening governance in the Region. ROPME has developed protocols addressing the critical areas of environmental management. The Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution (1978) has related protocols that were developed in accordance with the recommendations of the Legal Component of the Kuwait Action Plan. These protocols include:

  1. Protocol concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (1978)
  2. Protocol concerning Marine Pollution resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf (1989)
  3. Protocol for the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (1990)
  4. Protocol on the Control of Marine Trans-boundary Movements and Disposal of Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes (1998)
  5. Protocol concerning the conservation of biological diversity and the establishment of protected areas.

Environment Day of the Region Celebration April 24, 2022

Environment Day of the Region Booklet 2021

The Headquarters of ROPME has moved to a new location in Sulabikhat since 7 October 2018. New telephone numbers: 22093939 22090021 24864226

ROPME-JICA Workshop on Coastal Habitat Conservation & Rehab in RSA | 16-17 Sep 2019

Meeting of the Regional Task Force on Eutrophication and HABs, 16-18 Jan. 2018, Muscat, Oman

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