Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea
and Gulf of Aden
PERSGA is an official regional organization based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
responsible for the development and implementation of regional programmes
for the protection and conservation of the marine environment of the Red Sea
and Gulf of Aden, and was formally established in September 1996, with the
signing of the Cairo Declaration by all cooperating parties to the Jeddah
functions of PERSGA include the implementation of the Jeddah Convention, the
Action Plan, and the Protocol. It has also been given responsibility for preparation
and implementation of the SAP and related activities. PERSGA has played an
active role in promoting regional cooperation and has recently supported regional
workshops concerning environmental assessment (EA), Marine Protected Areas,
navigation risks and living marine resources. In addition, a series of national
workshops have been sponsored by PERSGA to facilitate the development and
review of Country Reports prepared as part of the SAP process.
PERSGA can trace its origins back to the early 1970's. The Arab
League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, ALECSO, with
the assistance of UNESCO, convened a meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1974
where initial ideas for interdisciplinary research were discussed. Subsequent
meetings identified key regional concerns and proposed plans of activity which
gave rise to the Programme for the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of
Aden known as 'PERSGA'. An interim secretariat was established in Cairo to
implement this programme, under the auspices of ALECSO. The secretariat moved
to Jeddah in 1980.
'Interim Secretariat' to 'Regional Organization'
One of the most significant achievements of PERSGA has been the development
of new international laws. In February 1982 the plenipotentiaries of the governments
in the region signed The Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red
Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment (the Jeddah Convention) together with a Protocol
Concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful
Substances in Cases of Emergency. The main focus of the Convention concerns
the prevention, reduction and fight against pollution. It also includes an
Article directing the contracting parties to establish a regional organization
to implement the agreement.
This regional organization was established in September 1995 under the umbrella
of the Arab League. At the first Council Meeting in Egypt, the Cairo Declaration
formally announced the creation of the Regional Organization for the Conservation
of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which keeps the title
PERSGA is governed by a Council. This is composed of the Ministers in charge
of the environment from each of the Member States. The Council meets annually
to approve technical and financial policies. The daily affairs are managed
by the PERSGA Secretariat, a small but dedicated team of professionals drawn
from the countries of the region.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts the PERSGA Secretariat in Jeddah and all
of the Member States contribute to the budget.
Specific regional programmes are assisted with grants provided by international
For further information about PERSGA and the Strategic Action Programme, contact
either Dr. Nizar Tawfiq (Secretary General) or Dr.
Mohammed Fawzi (Deputy Secretary General). Questions about the SAP should
be directed to either Dr. Fareed Krupp (Chief Technical Advisor) or to Dr.
Dirar Nasr (PERSGA/SAP Coordinator).
PERSGA produces a quarterly newsletter called Al
Sambouk. Interested parties should request that their names be added
to our mailing list.
P.O. Box 53662
Tel.: 02-657-3224; 02-657-3228; 02-653-4563.