OSPAR’s disappointing wrap-up

Author: Brussels Office
Date: September 29, 2010



Well we can’t say we are too surprised, but it’s still incredibly frustrating that OSPAR member states choose to continue endangering the health and future of an ecosystem on which millions of Europeans depend.

Good news first – European countries agreed to create six new marine protected areas. This is an historic decision because they are the first MPAs created beyond national jurisdiction (in the high seas).

Bad news? Where do we begin?

Six is simply not enough – not enough high seas protection, and not enough surface area coverage.

Only 3% of the marine surface area of the NorthEast Atlantic is protected (yes, that’s including the six new MPAs). This number isn’t anywhere near the 10% required by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – not even close. Additionally, the current network of marine protected areas still lacks representation of diverse ecosystems and ecological coherence.

So, instead of abiding by their own commitments, instead of holding themselves accountable, OSPAR countries decided to push the deadline from 2010, to 2012.

Aside from MPAs – OSPAR failed to approve the German proposal for a moratorium on the installation of new offshore oil wells.