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 interdisciplinar 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. 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”.

PERSGA is governed by a Council. This is composed of the Ministers in charge of the environment from each of the Member States (Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen). 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. PERSGA has implemented, and continues to implement, a large number of projects throughout the Red Sea & Gulf of Aden with funding from ALECSO, the Islamic Development Bank, GEF, other international donors, and member states. The PERSGA Secretariat is based in Jeddah and is hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The establishment of PERSGA has been a pivotal step in a regional approach to sustainable use and conservation of the marine resources and environments. A regional approach to the marine environment is essential given the semi-enclosed nature of the Red Sea and the transboundary nature of many issues.


Emergency Mutual Aid Center in the Red sea and Gulf of Aden