United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


12 April
Danfríður Skarphéðinsdóttir
Intervention made by Iceland at CSD 13
In my short intervention I will focus on one important issue concerning integrated
water resource management.
Allow me first to draw your attention to The Millenium Ecosystem A ssessment -
called for by UN Secretary General, published in March this year. The report
clearly illustrates how measures taken to improve the life of people in one place
can harm ecosystems and the living conditions of people elsewhere.
Nearly half of the world?s population lives within 60 kilometers of the coast. The
proportion is increasing as growth in urban communities this century will largely
take place in coastal zones.
Coastal zones are the most productive ecosystems on earth and therefore
particularly vulnerable to pollution from land-based sources.
One in five people in the world depend on fish as their primary source of protein,
and fisheries provide direct or indirect livelihoods for 400 million people.
80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities.
Iceland would like to congratulate the chair on a very clear and concise matrix
from the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting. Still I would like to draw your
attention to one important issue we would like to have mentioned. The the Global
Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Landbased
Activities (GPA) is in the view of Iceland a very important instrument to
ensure a holistic approach to integrated water resource management.
The GPA was adopted by 108 governments and the European Commission in
1995. The GPA targets major threats to the health, productivity and biodiversity
of the marine and coastal environment resulting from human activities. GPA is the
only global mechanism explicitly addressing the linkages between freshwater,
coastal and marine environments.
The value of GPA as a tool for achieving internationally -agreed goals and targets,
including the M DG?s has been reiterated in the Johannesburg Plan of
Implementation (JPOI) and in numerous intergovernmental and multistakehoder
Iceland would like to take this opportunity to underline the linkages between
marine and freshwater management and GPA as the only global procees that
adresses the interface between freshwater and the marine enviro nment. It is
important that at
Iceland would therefore like to emphasize the need for strengthening the
implementation of GPA and hopes to see this reflected in the outcome of CSD 13.