The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) is an advisory body, established in 1969, that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.

At present GESAMP is jointly sponsored by ten UN organizations with responsibilities relating to the marine environment, and they utilize GESAMP as a mechanism for coordination and collaboration among them. GESAMP functions are to conduct and support marine environmental assessments, to undertake in-depth studies, analyses, and reviews of specific topics, and to identify emerging issues regarding the state of the marine environment. GESAMP itself today consists of 17 experts, drawn from a wide range of relevant disciplines, who act in an independent and individual capacity. Studies and assessments are usually carried out by dedicated working groups, most of whose members are not sitting members of GESAMP but part of the broader GESAMP network.

GESAMP's UN sponsors

Since 1968;

Since 1969;

Since 1971;

Since 1977;

Since 2006;

Since 2010;

Since 2017;

A revitalized GESAMP

Following an independent, in-depth review of GESAMP in 2001, the Group underwent an extensive revitalization process, through substantive support from Sida (Swedish International Development co-operation Agency) and the Swedish Maritime Administration. The co-operation, focused on:

  1. increasing the number of experts from developing countries participating in GESAMP activities;
  2. extending and consolidating GESAMP's networks at the regional and global level; and
  3. supporting GESAMP's participation the UNGA Regular Process.

More information about the new vision and mode of operation of GESAMP can be found in the publication "The New GESAMP: Science for Sustainable Oceans".

Past Chairs of GESAMP

Since its inception in 1969, GESAMP has had twenty Chairs, representing thirteen countries:

2019 – David Vousden (South Africa)

2013 - 2019 P. J. Kershaw (United Kingdom)

2008 – 2013 C.T. Bowmer (Netherlands)

2002 – 2008 M.E. Huber (Australia)

2000 – 2002 R. Duce (United States)

1998 – 2000 P. Wells (Canada)

1996 – 1998 H. Yap (Philippines)

1994– 1996 O. Osibanjo (Nigeria)

1990 – 1994 D .Calamari (Italy)

1987 – 1990 H.L. Windom (United States)

1986 – 1987 G.D. Howells (United Kingdom)

1984 – 1987 E.D. Gomez (Philippines)

1980 – 1984 A.D. McIntyre (United Kingdom)

1978 – 1980 V. Pravdić (Yugoslavia)

1975 – 1977 G.E.B. Kullenberg (Denmark)

1974 – 1975 A.I. Simonov (USSR)

1973 – 1974 G. Berge (Norway)

1970 – 1973 M. Waldichuk (Canada)

1969 – 1970 J. Wardley-Smith (United Kingdom)