Scoping Activities

Scoping activities follow discussions on the identification of new and emerging issues related to the marine environment. If Sponsoring Organizations take an interest in any of these issues they can request that these are explored further by a group of GESAMP members. The members will in turn set up a correspondence group to prepare a scoping paper on the issue.

Scoping activities will be presented at the annual sessions of GESAMP and, following comments and discussions, they can either be refined/developed further or become subjects which will be taken on by Working Group(s).

Correspondence Groups

Correspondence Groups are set up to develop scoping papers on proposals made during the annual sessions on new and emerging issues on marine environmental protection issues. The following correspondence groups are currently in session:

  • Relevance of inputs of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) into the marine environment

    Lead: Thomas Hoefer (Germany)

    Co-Chair: Mattias Grote (Germany)

    Date Established: 43rdSession, 2016

    End Date: 2020

    Based on the scoping paper accepted as basis for work at the 44thsession of GESAMP, members had been nominated in 2017/2018 and a workshop took place in Berlin, Germany, in late 2018 on this subject fully financed by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. In 2019, based on the presentations at the workshop, scientists from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America cooperated in drafting a GESAMP report which is planned to be finalized in early 2020.

  • Sand and gravel mining: updating information on sources and levels of main pollutants

    Lead: Chris Vivian (United Kingdom) and Joana Akrofi (UN Environment)


    Date Established: November 2016

    End date: ongoing

    Mission: The Correspondence Group has revised the scoping paper which has identified policies and action that could reduce the demand for marine sand and gravel. In priciple, discourage and phase out the maining of agregates from nearhore areas and dunes immediately under the high water mark. The report also presents recommendations in offshore areas.

  • Update the information on sources of the main pollutants impacting the global marine environment - 'The 80-20 Conundrum'

    Lead: David Vousden (South Africa), Andrew Hudson (UNDP)


    Date Established: September 2017

    End date: ongoing

    Mission: To focus on types and imapacts from contaminants/pollutants rather than percentages while including some best case-studies with reliable peer-reviewed data.

  • Impact of armed conflict on the marine environment and sustainable development

    Lead: Ahmand Abdul Hilal (Jordan)

    Co-Chair: Chris Vivian (United Kingdom)

    Date Established: September 2018

    End date: ongoing

    Mission: The task team has already provided a summary of the current state of knowledge regarding the impact of wars and conflicts on the marine environment, ecosystems and biodiversity and has produced reasonable recommendations which were considered by GESAMP in the 46th session of GESAMP in New York, in September 2019. The paper is currently expanded with input from more GESAMP members.