OSPAR kicks off today in Bergen, Norway

Author: Brussels Office
Date: September 20, 2010



Today marks the beginning of the OSPAR Commission meeting in Bergen, Norway.

In case you are wondering what this actually is, we thought we’d give you a bit of background on the Commission and what it is that they do.

OSPAR is the result of the 1992 unification of two international Conventions related to the protection of marine environment: the Oslo convention adopted in 1972 which regulates dumping waste at sea and the Paris Convention, adopted two years later and focusing on land based sources of pollution.

OSPAR gathers fifteen countries and the European Union, to guide international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The Commission identifies threats and implements programs to study and combat them.

The week-long summit has been divided into two parts. Over the first three days, the Commission will review the reports submitted by the five committees on the different work areas of OSPAR. Then, from Thursday to Friday, Ministers of the Contracting Parties will launch the Quality Status Report 2010, a global assessment on the quality status of the North East Atlantic examining all aspects of human influence on the sea. Ministers will also establish a strategy for the period 2010-2020 and negotiate the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) beyond national jurisdiction.

As you know, Oceana is a fierce advocate for the establishment of MPAs and we are looking forward to finding out the outcome of this conference. Two members of Oceana’s team are attending the event as observers and will keep us informed on what’s happening in Bergen. So, check out our blog and our tweets this week to get the latest updates.

For more information about OSPAR, check out the website of the Commission here and the website of the North East Atlantic Environment Summit here