The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution

Permanent Secretariat

mission georaphy socio-economy environment

Odessa DeclarationMinisterial Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea

Odessa, 7 April 1993

The Ministers responsible for the protection of the marine environment of the Black Sea coastal states assembled in Odessa,

Recalling the decisions and recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and desiring to provide the policy guidance for the implementation of Agenda 21 in the Black Sea region;

Reaffirming the provisions of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, its Protocols and the Resolutions adopted at Bucharest, April 21, 1992;

Concerned about the continued deterioration of the ecosystem and the degradation of its natural resources despite the measures taken by the coastal states;

Determined to individually and jointly take effective measures to ensure the sustainable development of the Black Sea;

Recognizing that the rehabilitation, protection and preservation of the Black Sea can be ensured only through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including cooperation with relevant international organizations;

Convinced of the need for close cooperation with states and international bodies concerned with the rehabilitation, protection and preservation of the waters of the rivers flowing into the Black Sea;

Also convinced that public participation in appropriate local, national and regional forums needs to be encouraged;

Desiring to establish explicit environmental goals and a time-frame in order to concentrate national, regional and international resources on the most effective measures;

Declare that:

  • The pollution of the Black Sea poses serious threats to the coastal states, and is a source of concern to their peoples and the international community as a whole;
  • Efforts presently being made at the local, national, regional and international level are insufficient to protect and preserve the marine environment and attain the sustainable development of the Black Sea;
  • Urgent, comprehensive, consistent and coordinated action at all levels is thus required;
  • The aim of the measures adopted is to be the protection, preservation and, where necessary, rehabilitation of the marine environment and the sustainable development of the Black Sea;
  • To these ends they confirm their commitment to integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and the marine environment under their national jurisdiction and will base their policies on the following:
- A precautionary approach
- The use of low and non-waste technologies
- Integration of marine environmental protection considerations into other policy areas
- Market mechanisms, including the development of economic incentives for using low and non-waste technologies, user fees, and the polluter pays principle
- Application of natural resource and environmental accounting and environmental impact assessment procedures to all sectors, including tourism;
  • In the development of policies for the protection and preservation of the Black Sea environment the aim is to develop common targets. However, the specific measures taken by the different coastal states will be consistent with their national priorities while contributing to the agreed common targets;
  • Any action developed at the region level to ensure the implementation of this Declaration shall be consistent and integrated with steps being taken to ensure the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution;

Decide to adopt the following actions:

Harmful substances
1. To develop, by 1996, common environmental quality objectives and, where possible, emission standards for inputs of substances listed in Annexes I and II to the Protocols on the Prevention of Pollution from Land-Based Sources and from Dumping of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution and to take the necessary measures to reduce inputs of these substances to the agreed levels.

2. To further, where appropriate, the use of low and non-waste technologies to achieve a reduction of inputs of harmful substances, including nutrients.

3. To protect public health by the urgent construction of sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants in areas where the local population is at risk or there may be detrimental effects to the sustainable development of the marine environment for such activities as tourism and fisheries.

4. To prepare, before 1996, coordinated national plans for the reduction of inputs of harmful substances, especially nutrients.

Disposal of radioactive materials
5. To ban, with immediate effect, the dumping of radioactive materials in the Black Sea.

Pollution from ships
6. To develop, coordinate and implement, by 1996, national plans for applying MARPOL special area requirements, including the urgent enhancement of harbor reception facilities, and to initiate action within the International Maritime Organization in accordance with Resolution 5 adopted together with the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution and its related protocols.

Transboundary movement of toxic wastes
7. To elaborate and adopt, before 1994, a Protocol to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and cooperation in combating illegal traffic thereof.

Natural resources
8. To encourage the development of comprehensive and coordinated plans for the restoration and conservation of biodiversity in the Black Sea in the spirit of the 1992 Biodiversity Convention.

9. To take appropriate measures for the restoration and conservation of biodiversity in the Black Sea in the spirit of the 1992 Biodiversity Convention.

10. To establish and improve nature conservation areas in the coastal zone of each coastal state before 1996.

Emergency response plans
11. To develop, by 1996, national and regional contingency plans identified by the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution for combating pollution in emergency situations.

Assessment and monitoring
12. To complete, before 1996, an assessment of sources and levels of the substances listed in annexes to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution Protocols on the Prevention of Pollution from Land-Based Sources and from Dumping and to conduct preliminary studies of their environmental effects.

13. To establish, before 1997, a trend monitoring system for substances which have been identified as threatening or likely to threaten the sustainable development of the Black Sea environment.

14. In order to facilitate the implementation of the provisions on assessment and monitoring:
a. A common program for data quality assurance will be agreed; and
b. The capacity of at least one institution in each coastal state to participate in common assessment and monitoring programs will be enhanced.

Integrated coastal zone management
15. To elaborate and implement national coastal zone management policies, including legislative measures and economic instruments, in order to ensure the sustainable development in the spirit of Agenda 21.

Environmental impact assessment
16. To introduce compulsory environmental impact assessment of all projects in the private and public sector according to national criteria, which will be harmonized by 1997 where possible.

Arrangements for future cooperation
17. To select, by the end of 1993, activity centers based upon existing national institutions in order to provide technical support and coordinate the national and regional actions highlighted in this Declaration and as referred to in Resolution 4 adopted at the Bucharest meeting.

18. To take action to ensure prompt ratification of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution and its Protocols by all Black Sea coastal states.

19. To prepare and widely diffuse a consolidated triennial report on the status of implementation of the provisions of this Declaration. The report will be submitted to a Ministerial meeting convened within six months following completion of the triennium. This meeting will consider any actions required to enhance implementation or to amend the Declaration.

Declaration of the Ministers of Environment of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution

Adopted at the Meeting of the Ministers of Environment of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Sofia 2002

We, the Ministers responsible for the protection of the environment in the Black Sea coastal states, assembled in Sofia,

Reaffirming the importance of the Black Sea and its Ecosystem as a valuable natural endowment of the region,

Acknowledging the special economic and social significance of the Black Sea for the peoples of the coastal states,

Having in mind the specific hydrological regime of the Black Sea  and the vulnerability of its unique ecosystem,

Taking into account that the deterioration of the water quality, biological diversity degradation, amenities loss and potential health problems caused by the intensive use of the Black Sea resources and by the pollution.

Reaffirming the principles of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution together with its constituent Protocols, signed in Bucharest  on 21April 1992,

Noting also that the Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea signed in Odessa on 7 April 1993 and the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea, signed in Istanbul on 31 October 1996, are aimed inter alia, at sustainable development of the coastal states,

Noting also that the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its constituent  Protocols do not cover all the aspects of the conservation of the Black Sea ecosystem and the further development of its bio-productive potential and recreational capacity,

Bearing in mind that a considerable amount of the pollutants discharged into the Black Sea originates in non-coastal states within the Black Sea basin,

Convinced that the cooperation for environmental protection and rehabilitation, and in sustainable development in the Black Sea basin  is crucial for the recovery of the Black Sea ecosystem and for the sustainable use of its natural resources,

Welcoming the assistance rendered by the GEF, UNDP, UNEP, The World Bank, EC and IMO,

Keeping in mind that as a consequence of the enlargement process the EU will have  Black Sea coast line in the foreseeable future,

Welcoming also the commitment of the European Commission to support the protection of the aquatic environment in the Danube/Black Sea region and the establishment of the DABLAS Task Force,

Supporting the principles of the Declaration on the Water and the Water Related Ecosystems in the Wider Black Sea Region adopted in Brussels on 26 November 2001,

Appreciating the cooperation held and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, signed in Brussels on 26 November 2001,

Noting that it was agreed by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution at its Eighth Extraordinary Meeting held in Istanbul on 20 February 2002 and taking into account relevant resolution of the Meeting of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States held in Kyiv on 26 April 2002 that BSC Permanent Secretariat is willing to undertake the finalization of the Draft Convention on Fisheries and Conservation of the Black Sea living Resources,

Being informed about some positive changes of the water quality and the state of the Black Sea ecosystem observed in the Black Sea in the recent years,

Looking forward to the prompt adoption of the Black Sea  Contingency Plan to the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Black Sea Marine Environment by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Emergency Situations,

 

Further acknowledging the increased efficiency of the Black Sea Commission, its work done and  its institutional structure functioning;

Acknowledging the role of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea as the basic instrument for performing the concerted actions needed for the improvement of the Black Sea environment; nevertheless remaining concerned about the considerable delay in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea

Concerned with the lack of the commonly agreed indicators of the efficiency of the implemented measures and weak information exchange on the progress made and measures required

Recalling that convening of five year meetings of the Ministers, responsible for the rehabilitation and protection of the marine environment of the Black Sea and aiming at evaluating the progress made and the adoption of any additional actions that may be required to attain the common regional environmental objectives is called upon in the Strategic Action Plan, for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea

DECLARE:

Our joint political will towards joint action aiming at the further improvement of the the Black Sea and the state of its marine and coastal ecosystems, by way of, among other things, taking all appropriate measures to achieve good water status of all the water bodies in the region,

Our support at the national level for speeding up the ratification process for the Protocol on the Biological and Landscape Diversity Protection to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its early enactment,

Our commitment to intensify the countries endeavours to implement the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea within the revised implementation timeframe as adopted at this meeting,

Our firm intention to support the regional mechanism for cooperation in more effective way by rendering the necessary assistance to  the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, its Permanent Secretariat , and its subsidiary bodies as well as projects, programs and studies undertaken in the framework of the Strategic Action Plan on the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea ,

Our renewed commitment to the support the Activity Centres established in accordance with the Resolutions of the Bucharest Conference, April 1992,

Our appreciation of the initiative taken by the Commission to take upon itself the function of the Black Sea Subregional Coordination Bureau for the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Contiguous Atlantic Ocean,  

Our further encouragement for the Commission to play a facilitating role in the fulfilment of the commitments made by the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution at the national and regional levels on the basis of other international instruments relevant to protection of water related ecosystems and biodiversity,

Our commitment to actively support the  implementation of the Black Sea Ecosystems Recovery Project,

Our determination to improve the data collection and management process in the framework of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and to establish a regular information and data flow between the coastal states’ competent authorities and institutions and the Commission and to immediately start the regional environment monitoring activities,

Our decision to strengthen the work at the national and regional level in sectoral integration in the environmental management, introduction and extensive use of economic environment management tools,

Our support for the implementation and further development and enlargement the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube river,

Our resolution to accelerate the implementation of priority environmental projects in the region and to support the  DABLAS Task Force as an important instrument for region-wide coordination,

Our intention to apply the water basin management principles, define regional environmental objectives and identify priority actions towards their achievements as well as to promote the cooperation with all large river management bodies/projects in the Black Sea basin,

Our intention to agree upon the regional indicators of the progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea and of the state of the environment,

Our willingness to promote cooperation with other states, regional and international organizations sharing the objectives of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution,

Our intention to meet regularly to evaluate the progress made and identify additional actions that may be needed for the achievement of our regionally established common environmental objectives.

Done in Sofia in the English language on the fourteenth day of June 2002.

DECLARATION
OF THE MINISTERS IN CHARGE OF WATER MANAGEMENT
OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES TO
THE DANUBE RIVER PROTECTION CONVENTION
AND
THE CONVENTION FOR PROTECTION OF THE BLACK SEA AGAINST POLLUTION
ON THE ENHANCEMENT OF COOPERATION

>(Bucharest, 23 February 2007)

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, the Environmental and Water Management of Austria, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina,, Minister of Environment and Water of Bulgaria, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Croatia, Deputy Minister of Environment of the Czech Republic, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, Minister of Environment and Water of Hungary, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Moldova, Ministry of Environment and Water Management of Romania, Minister Coordinator of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia, Minister of Environment of Slovak Republic, Minister of Environmental Protection of Ukraine, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia, Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, Minister of Natural Resources of Russian Federation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Turkey and the European Commission.

We the Ministers, High Officials and the Member of the European Commission being responsible for the implementation of the Danube River Protection Convention and the Black Sea Protection Convention are committed to strengthen the water and aquatic environment protection activities undertaken in the Danube region and to increase the cooperation and efforts for protection of the marine waters and marine environment of the Black Sea,


Valuing the social and economic benefits of the goods and services that Danube River and its tributaries and the Black Sea waters and coasts provide;

Acknowledging the vulnerability and historical damage of related ecosystems by pollution and other consequences of human activities;

Recognizing the recent signs of environmental recovery in the Danube and Black Sea ecosystems that have come about through both reduced economic activity and active policies and actions;

Expressing desire to continue these trends of reduced pollution for nutrients and hazardous substances at the same time as achieving economic growth;

Taking note of the existing cooperation between ICPDR (full wording) and ICPBS (full wording) in the frame of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2001 and expressing the intention to strengthen and build upon this cooperation;

Acknowledging the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU on 1 January 2007 and to the fact that the EU now directly borders the Black Sea;

Emphasizing that strengthening relations of Black Sea countries with the European Commission in the environmental field, would create an additional impetus for the Black Sea protection and increased cooperation with other regional organizations;

Reconfirming the commitment of Danube countries to implement the Water Framework Directive and to develop a Danube River Basin Management Plan by 2009;

Fully aware of the fact that, the coastal area of the Black Sea, will be a sensitive area due to eutrophication, the entire Danube Basin will be required to apply more stringent measures regarding nutrient pollution

Equally aware of the importance Danube and the Black Sea have in the field of transportation and other branches of the economies of the Danube and Black Sea countries;

Realising that the future challenges for water management will become even more difficult to resolve when faced with the consequences of human-induced changes of the global and regional climate. These consequences will also be severe in the Danube and Black Sea region.
Expressing support for other solutions for reducing nutrient pollution such as measures for the introduction of phosphate-free detergents;

Acknowledge that apart from the Danube River, there are other tributaries to the Black Sea which are inputting nutrients and hazardous substances; and encourage their basin states to join common efforts to reduce pollution loads to the Black Sea;

Recognizing the important contribution to building regional cooperation and improving pollution control that the UNDP GEF Danube Regional Project and Black Sea Ecosystem Recovery Project have provided;

Being aware of the huge financial resources necessary for achieving the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive and implementation of measures under the Danube River Basin Management Plan;

Acknowledging in this respect the work undertaken by the DABLAS Task Force to improve financing of priority projects in the region.

Fully recognising the importance of financing implementation of EC water quality legislation in the EU Member States through the use of EC structural and cohesion funds

Considering that a continued coordination of the activities undertaken by all Danube countries is needed to have the maximum water environment improvements with the lowest costs;

Express appreciation of the valued support from international financial institutions, international and regional organizations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, other stakeholders and major groups for assisting in achieving this goal;

Welcome the initiative of the Council of Europe to create a Black Sea Euroregion in order to further stimulate the democratic process in the area, promote good governance and strengthen security and stability, as well as to promote sustainable development.

Being aware of risks stemming from floods and accidental pollution leading often to massive damages and losses often with transboundary effect.

Confirm a strong commitment to the implementation of the ICPDR Action Programme for sustainable flood prevention in the Danube River Basin and willingness to use all efforts to draft the action plans for sub-basins identifying key flood protection problems and programs of measures by 2009

Highlighting that, despite commitments of all countries towards mitigation of climate change through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, countries must start preparing adaptation strategies to address the climate-induced changes which will not be mitigated. The international commissions in the Danube and the Black Sea should take a leading role in assessing the impacts of climate change in the region and coordinating adaptation measures related to impacts on the freshwater and marine environment.

Emphasize the necessity of a close cooperation in prevention and mitigation of pollution accidents including timely distribution of warning information via the Danube Accident Emergency Warning System;

Confirm their strong commitment to achieve sustainable development based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the protection of the environment in the Danube and Black Sea Region by:

  • promoting new activities for the sustainable development in the context of both Danube and Black Sea Conventions and WFD implementation, starting with the development of the Programme of measures in 2007;
  • disseminating the results of the UNDP/GEF project concerning i.a. the reduction of nutrients pollution within the Danube River Basin; adopted on 23-February-2007 in Bucharest 3
  • agreeing on the necessity to intensify the efforts of cooperation in the Danube River Basin to maintain the important progress that has been made and to continue to serve as a model for other regions of the world now when the UNDP/GEF project is finished;
  • promoting the integration of regional priorities into national programmes and facilitating the co-ordinated and efficient use of funding instruments at national, EU and international level in particular by providing a comprehensive and integrated vision of the priorities for environmental investments directed towards protection of the aquatic environment;

Undertake to further enhance the co-operation between the Danube and Black Sea countries, the International commissions for the protection of the Danube and the Black Sea, the Danube Cooperation Process, as well as the other regional initiatives in the field of Danube and Black Sea protection and sustainable development, ICPDR and the Black Sea Commission, as well as other regional initiatives aimed at enforcing solidarity in the field of Danube River and Black Sea protection and reconfirm the long-term and intermediate goal of the Danube Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding;

Agree to utilize to the maximum extent possible the new European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) as tool for addressing Black Sea problems as well as to utilize the new IPA instrument to address water related issued in the candidate and potential candidate countries

Agree to continue to cooperate under the DABLAS Task Force to ensure that priority projects obtain financing

Underline the importance of an enhanced co-operation on joint scientific-technical researches and programs, elaboration and execution of co-operation projects, exchange of scientific and technical information, exchange of officials, experts, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organizations, organizing training programs, meetings, conferences and symposia;

Welcome organization of the second Joint Danube Survey in 2007 as an excellent example of a basin-wide cooperation towards a good status of the Danube water;

Express their gratitude to the Government and the people of Romania for the warm hospitality extended to them during the Meeting.

adopted on 23-February-2007 in Bucharest

 

Declaration
of the Ministers of Environment

of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution on Strengthening the Cooperation for the Rehabilitation of the Black Sea Environment
(Sofia, 17 April 2009)

We, the Ministers responsible for the protection of the environment Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine, Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, 17 April 2009;

Fully recognizing the need to preserve The Black Sea ecosystem as a valuable natural endowment of the region, whilst ensuring the protection of its marine and coastal living resources as a condition for sustainable development of the Black Sea coastal states, well-being, health and security of their population;

Acknowledging the increasing volume of oil and gas products transported through the Black Sea and the potential risk of pollution to the coastal and marine habitats;

Considering our responsibility to manage coastal and marine habitats in a way that they equitably meet the development needs of future generations;

Recognizing the fact that environmental policies implemented in the Black Sea coastal states and other states of the Black Sea basin have contributed significantly to the recovery trend displayed by the Black Sea ecosystem in recent years;

Reconfirming our commitment for the continued improvement of the state of the Black Sea ecosystem;

Reaffirming our obligation to fulfill the provisions of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, signed in Bucharest on 21 April 1992, and its Protocols;

Noting that the Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea, signed in Odessa on 7th April 1993; the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea, signed in Istanbul on 31st October 1996 and the Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea, signed in Sofia on 14th June 2002 and the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea, adopted in Sofia on 17 April 2009, have as their ultimate aims the sustainable development of the Black Sea coastal States;

Recalling the commitments enshrined in the Declaration of the Fifth Ministerial UNECE Conference, “Environment for Europe” (Kiev, May 2003), in the Declaration of the Ministers in Charge of Water Management of the Contracting Parties to the Danube River Protection Convention and the Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution on the Enhancement of Cooperation (Bucharest, February 2007), in the Declaration of the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the UNECE Region (Belgrade, October 2007), in the joint Declaration adopted at the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of environmental protection of the BSEC Member States, (Bucharest, 3 March 2006);

Recalling that the basis for cooperative action in implementing the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea 1996, amended 2002, includes the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle, anticipatory actions, the use of clean technologies, the use of economic instruments, the involvement of stakeholders, transparency and public participation;

Appreciating the improved regional cooperation in tackling emergency situations and welcoming its further strengthening and involvement of oil sector;

Noting the increasing commitment of the European Union (EU) to the protection of the Black Sea environment in the Danube/Black Sea region and the readiness of the EU to “contribute to better coordinating specific environmental programs” for the Black Sea as stated in the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of EU and of the wider Black Sea area at the initial Meeting of the Black Sea Synergy Cooperation, Kiev, 14 February 2008;

Welcoming the assistance provided by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), International Maritime Organization (IMO), Danube Black Sea Task Force (DABLAS) and other international donor and financing agencies, as well as the increasing participation of the private sectors including OSPRI (Oil Spill Preparedness Regional Initiative) and the growing collaboration of nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) in the protection and preservation of the Black Sea environment;

Acknowledging the commitment and efforts of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its coordinating role towards the promotion and implementation of the Bucharest Convention and its Protocols and Strategic Action Plan for Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea;

Recognizing the challenge to prevent and further reduce negative effects following economic recovery, social development, population growth and potential impacts of climate changes in the Black Sea region taking into account the sensitivity and fragility of the Black Sea ecosystem.

Being aware that improved management approaches are needed to cope with the adverse effects of pollution, overexploitation of marine living resources, resulting in eutrophication, habitat loss, and degradation of this unique ecosystem and ultimate economic and social losses for the population of the Black Sea coastal states;

Recognizing that elevated input of nutrients which causes eutrophication over wide areas of the Black Sea remains a concern to the coastal states;

Continuing to take significant political action for the protection and rehabilitation of the Black Sea and to develop and further improve legal framework for regional cooperation;

Recognizing that for the emerging priorities in the management of the Black Sea environment following the development of the Black Sea coastal states, realistic and well targeted eco-quality objectives, short and medium term management targets shall be set and hence the need for regular updating and monitoring of implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea, 2009.

Recalling the need for introduction of the ecosystem based management in fisheries sector and improvement of the regional cooperation in preserving and replenishing marine living resources;

Being aware that the Black Sea ecosystem may still face losses of biodiversity and of the necessity of further cooperation and concerted action by the Black Sea coastal states to maintain biodiversity and prevent habitat loss are needed;

Realizing that the increasing pressures on the Black Sea environment calls for a proactive role for the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Pollution, and ensuring the use of the full potential of institutional network by providing adequate financial resources and technical assistance;

have agreed to:

1) welcome the adoption of the Protocol for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Black Sea from Land-Based Sources and Activities according to Article 20 of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and to renew efforts towards its implementation;

2) adopt the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea, 2009;

3) welcome the signing of the Final Act of the Diplomatic Conference to formalize the adoption of above instruments;

4) welcome the adoption of the Contingency Plan (Volume I : Response To Oil Spills 2003) as an Annex to the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Black Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances;

5) welcome the signing of the Black Sea Biodiversity and Landscape Conservation Protocol by Georgia to speed up its ratification and entry into force;

6) further strengthen the infrastructure and capacity for implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea, adopted on 17th April 2009, including actions to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, further enhance the application of the ecosystem approach to the environmental management of the Black Sea;

7) finalize without further delay a legal framework for the sustainable management of fisheries and marine living resources and to establish regulatory framework for maintaining healthy and viable fish stocks in the Black Sea, taking into account the previous work and efforts as well as the experience of other regional agreements and arrangements;

8) initiate a joint process within the Black Sea Commission to elaborate further on the proposal for the amendment of the Convention submitted by Bulgaria and Romania on the accession of regional economic integration organizations with a view to develop a recommendation on such amendments as may be required;

9) incorporate up-to-date environmental management approaches, practices and technologies, with particular attention to integrated coastal zone management, introduction of green technologies, sustainable human development and ecosystem based management of human activities;

10) co-ordinate and harmonize where appropriate the Black Sea environmental policies with relevant regional and global initiatives and agreements in order to achieve synergy in the actions aimed at the further recovery of the Black Sea environment and contribute to sustainable development of the Black Sea coastal states

11) improve regional and national capacity and preparedness to prevent and respond to emergency situations and natural disasters threatening the Black Sea environment, as well as to take all necessary measures to decrease risk by increasing shipping safety inter alia making fully operational Black Sea Contingency Plan to the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Black Sea by oil and other harmful substances in emergency situations;

12) develop national and regional strategies and action plans and undertake necessary actions aimed at prevention and mitigation of consequences of the introduction of alien species;

13) encourage introduction of best environmental practices and best environmental technologies in the Black Sea basin in order to minimize pollution and degradation of the Black Sea from point and diffuse land-based sources and activities, notably from agriculture;

14) reduce littering of the Black Sea, notably by strengthening environmental policies for shipping and tourist industries and raising public awareness and involvement;

15) promote development and implement river basin management plans for large and medium rivers flowing into the Black Sea in order to reduce their influence on the Black Sea;

16) strengthen regional cooperation in the establishment of network of protected areas, with particular attention to marine protected areas, and development and introduction of species conservation plans, inter alia marine mammals, in cooperation with relevant international organizations, in the coastal zone of the Black Sea aiming at species and habitat conservation;

17) strengthen cooperation in improving scientific knowledge and forecast of environmental changes important for the Black Sea ecosystem and population of the Black Sea coastal states, notably by coordinating national and international scientific research programs and monitoring and securing the necessary funding for the research;

18) further strengthen cooperation with international organizations such as GEF, UNDP, UNEP, BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation), European Union, the World Bank, and IMO, in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its protocols;

19) encourage a broader stakeholder involvement, including the active participation of NGO’s and the private sector in the implementation of environmental protection policies;

20) welcome and highly appreciate the efforts of the Government of Ukraine for the preparation process of the Ministerial Meeting;

21) express our appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Bulgaria for hosting this Meeting in Sofia, 17 April 2009.

Done in Sofia, 17 April 2009


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