United Nations Environment Assembly Session on Sargassum

Nairobi, Kenya - May 27, 2016 - Press release now available

Update 6/2/2016: The Press Release on the outcome of the Sargassum session can be downloaded here.  

The 2nd Session of the UN Environment Assembly which represents the highest level of international environmental governance is ongoing at UNEP HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.

This year's UNEA Session made provision to hold a Side-Event on invasive seaweed, scientifically referred to as "Sargassum". The Session will take place on Friday 27th May 2016 in Conference Room 14 from 17h00 - 18h00 (local time).

In response to call for support from countries affected by Sargassum infestation, the organization of this event is spearheaded by UNEP Abidjan and Cartagena Conventions, UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA), and USAID West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC) Programme. 

Since 2011, there has been an increased amount of Sargassum seaweed banking on the shores of West Africa and Caribbean Coasts with severe ecological and socio-economic impacts.

Tackling this trans-atlantic marine environment problem requires regional and global coordinated action beyond national jurisdictions. Hence, the UNEA-2 Side Event on Sargassum intends to draw attention of the wider environment community on the severe impacts of Sargassum in West Africa and Caribbean States, and mobilize international support  to address this new global environmental phenomenon.

Specifically, the Side-Event on Sargassum will: 

  1. Raise awareness on the extent of the challenge considering its environmental and socio-economic impacts;
  2. Provide insights on the state of knowledge regarding the causal factors for the proliferation;
  3. Present proposed strategic regional-level response and build international networking and partnerships in addressing the issue;
  4. Exchange on opportunities for economic livelihood options from use of Sargassum deposits; and
  5. Explore opportunities for financing to address the issue in terms of research, innovation and demonstration/intervention projects.

For documents and more information on this event, please see links below:-