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OSPAR Commission - Observers

The observer organisations play an essential role in the OSPAR Commission. They include other intergovernmental organisations working in similar fields, and international non-governmental organisations. The non-governmental observer organisations are environmental protection and nature conservation organisations, industry and trade organisations and organisations of regional and local authorities.

While the primary responsibility of carrying out the OSPAR Convention lies with the Contracting Parties, the observer community plays an essential role in the promotion of protecting and conserving the North-East Atlantic and its resources. The observers not only take part in the various meetings of the OSPAR Commission but also contribute actively to its work and to shaping policy development. In this way non-governmental organisations are essential partners in the implementation of the Convention and translating its principles into practical action at local, national and regional level.

Information on how Non-Governmental Observer Organisations can apply for observership can be found in the Rules of Procedure of the OSPAR Commission: Criteria and procedures governing observership of Non-governmental Organisations at meetings within the framework of the OSPAR Commission (Agreement 2013-02).  

Intergovernmental organisations

The following intergovernmental organisations have observer status to OSPAR:


Memoranda of Understanding; Agreement of Cooperation;  

In addition, there are special cooperative relationships with IAEA, EMEP, the IMO and the Sargasso Sea Alliance.


Non-governmental organisations

The following non-governmental organisations have observer status to OSPAR: