The Strategic Action Plan (1996) for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea (BS SAP) has been one of the fundamental elements of the regional cooperation in the Black Sea which was first settled in 1992 by the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. The Plan was based on the findings of the first Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of the Black Sea (1996) and developed with certain principles to include specific policy actions to combat with the identified threats and problems. After an implementation period of the SAP (1996) of more than a decade, it is being revised and an updated SAP (2008) is developed based on the findings of the TDA2007 (http://www.blacksea-commission.org/main.htm) and the national (http://www.blacksea-commission.org/main.htm) and regional (http://22.214.171.124:88/ kievmeeting/gapreport.html) Gap Analysis reports (2007) of the previous SAP. The latter reports overview the gaps in the SAP1996 implementation on a national and regional levels, giving recommendations for reorganising the priorities and actions therein considering the progress in the Black Sea region and the current state of the environment
The present report is the second periodic assessment of the Implementation of the SAP for the years 2001-2006, with some additional information for 2007. It is organized, similar to the first one (2001), as an overview and evaluation of the policy actions and management principles identified in the SAP against the environmental challenges and in annexes (tables and figures) showing the progress made. Only the Articles on the development of “National Black Sea Strategic Action Plans and Financing the SAP” have not been dealt separately to avoid duplications in the text and annexes because all these efforts are well documented under other sections.
Since the gap analysis (including the achievements and the suggestions for improvement) of the SAP and its implementation were previously made (2007) at national and regional scales, these reports were fully made used for the preparation of the present one. Besides, TDA (2007), Black Sea Ecosystem recovery Project (BSERP) Final Report, BSC Database, communications with BSC Permanent Secretariat (PS), BS national/regional experts were also used as major sources of information.
The progress markers selected for policy development, establishment of national frameworks/regulations, programmes/projects run for the BS at different scales, investments made by national and international donors, environmental status and others clearly indicate that there has been a lot of move in the last decade to rehabilitate and protect the Black Sea. In particular, there is a real progress in the development of regional/international cooperation, including joint effort of governmental, non-governmental organizations and private sector in tackling high-priority point sources pollution; contingency planning and emergency response; biological diversity, habitats and landscapes protection, development of Black Sea information system and monitoring program, and sustainable human development. And the ultimate indicator of all our efforts, the state of the Black Sea and its coasts show signs of improvement starting by 1995, however, the challenges faced in the 1990s are still present and urge us to further strengthen the safety aspects of any human activity in the region.