Assessment and Monitoring
The 1992 OSPAR Convention contains a general obligation to collaborate in regular monitoring and assessment of the state of the marine environment in the maritime area. Annex IV to the Convention provides for cooperation in monitoring programmes, joint quality assurance arrangements, the development of scientific assessment tools, such as modelling, remote sensing and risk assessment strategies, and the preparation of assessments. Environmental assessment and monitoring related work is implemented by each of OSPAR’s thematic committees.
In 2010 the Ministerial Meeting of the Commission adopted a renewed Strategy for the Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme (JAMP) for the period 2010 to 2014. This provides a framework for work to develop OSPAR's monitoring and assessment programmes, with a particular focus on supporting the work to implement the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive that needs to be done by Contracting Parties that are EU Member States over this period. A further revision of the JAMP is expected to be undertaken for 2014 focussing on the development of new general assessments of the quality status of the marine environment for 2018. In this way OSPAR is co-ordinating repeated measurement and assessment of the marine environment over a 10 – 20 year timeframe.
Regular activities under the JAMP Strategy comprise the:
- Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP)
- Comprehensive Atmospheric Monitoring Programme (CAMP)
- Comprehensive Study on Riverine Inputs and Direct Discharges (RID)
Quality Status Reports (QSR) are innovative, comprehensive reports on the quality of the marine environment for the whole North-East Atlantic based largely on the work under the JAMP. The first full QSR for the OSPAR maritime area was published in 2000 (QSR 2000) and the QSR 2010 was launched at the 2010 Ministerial Meeting of the Commission. It summarises the results of the JAMP over the period 2000 to 2010, comparing the quality of the marine environment with 2000 and providing case study examples of how OSPAR has tackled specific issues.
The OSPAR Commission works with other international forums to improve data collection, handling and exchange including a future requirement for work on environmental assessment criteria.