The OSPAR Acquis: Decisions, Recommendations & Agreements

The OSPAR Acquis - the Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements that constitute the accumulated body of OSPAR measures and actions

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic ("OSPAR Convention") replaces the former Oslo and Paris Conventions.

Decisions, Recommendations and all Other Agreements adopted under those former Conventions continue to be applicable unless they are terminated by new measures adopted under the OSPAR Convention. Any Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements adopted under the Oslo and Paris Conventions that were considered to no longer apply under the OSPAR Convention were revoked by OSPAR Decision 98/1.

Maintaining the OSPAR Acquis

The latest list of Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements applicable within the framework of the OSPAR Convention is available here.

At its meeting in 2009, OSPAR agreed that there was no need for the OSPAR Commission to carry out annual reviews of this list. The Secretariat keeps the list up to date as new or amended measures are agreed. The OSPAR Committees review the applicability of any Decision, Recommendation or Other Agreement that relate to their area of responsibility and inform the meeting of the Commission as appropriate (at least every 5 years) of any that need to be updated, or that are proposed to be set aside. Those Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements that are set aside are indicated by blue shaded text in the List of Decisions, Recommendations and Agreements.

The Commission reviewed the acquis in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2017/18.

Implementation of OSPAR measures

Under the North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy (NEAES) 2010-2020 the OSPAR Commission was guided by its vision of a clean, healthy and biologically diverse North-East Atlantic Ocean, used sustainably. In seeking to deliver this vision the OSPAR Commission has harmonised policies and strategies and drawn up measures and actions to protect the marine environment. These are captured in the OSPAR Measures and Actions Programme (MAP), which maintains an overview of the implementation of the measures in the OSPAR aquis. This information is maintained in the OSPAR MAP Matrix.

In 2015 OSPAR published an overview of the ‘Existing OSPAR measures in support of MSFD programmes of measures’ (Publication 2015/665). This document provides a regional overview of OSPAR measures that support the achievement of good environmental status in marine waters under the EU MSFD.

OSPAR 2020 agreed a progress report on implementation of OSPAR measures in support of the review of North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2010-2020. The report builds on the information maintained in the OSPAR MAP Matrix.

Implementation successes

OSPAR’s measures and actions programme over the period 2010-2020 focused on:

  • the development of measures for the protection and conservation of biodiversity identified for priority action with programmes of action adopted for 40 species and 16 habitats and 3 rounds of implementation reporting completed;
  • consolidation of OSPAR’s network of marine protected areas, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which has resulted in 550 MPAs being nominated to the OSPAR MPA network, with annual implementation reporting through a data call to also maintain up to date information about the MPAs in an OSPAR MPA database;
  • the establishment of a risk-based approach for the management of produced water discharges from the offshore oil and gas industry to complement the OSPAR harmonised mandatory control system for offshore chemicals and promote the shift towards a reduction in the use of more hazardous substances;
  • the full implementation of the ban on the dumping or leaving in place of disused offshore installations;
  • the full implementation of the measure on the application of the BAT and BEP in nuclear facilities have resulted in a reduction of discharges from the nuclear sector
  • successfully phasing out all mercury cell chlor-alkali plants in the OSPAR Maritime Area as a result of its Contracting Parties fully implementing PARCOM Decision 90/3 on reducing atmospheric emissions from existing chlor-alkali plants;
  • development and implementation of the Regional Action Plan on marine litter, including measures on fishing for litter and sustainability education programmes for fishers.

OSPAR has also maintained a watching brief on the measures being taken by other competent authorities in the fields of management of land-based sources of hazardous substances and nutrients, the management of fisheries and other human activities with the potential to impact biodiversity. Where needed OSPAR brought matters of importance to the attention of the relevant authorities.

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Found 381 Decs, Recs & Ags:

Agreement on a Monitoring Programme for Concentrations of Radioactive Substances in the Marine Environment (Update 2018)

Adopted:
2005, Malahide
Reference Number:
Agreement 2005-08
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Radioactive Substances
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR List of Chemicals for Priority Action (Update 2007)

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-12
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 8: Quantification of nitrogen and phosphorus losses from diffuse sources by riverine load apportionment

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02h
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 9: Quantification and reporting of the retention of nitrogen and phosphorus in river catchments

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02i
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 7: Quantification and reporting of the monitored riverine load of nitrogen and phosphorus, including flow normalisation procedures (revised in 2018)

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02g
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 2: Quantification and reporting of nitrogen and phosphorus discharges/losses from aquaculture plants (revised in 2018)

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02b
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Agreement on Monitoring Strategies for OSPAR Chemicals for Priority Action. Updated in 2006

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-14
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Provisional JAMP Assessment Criteria for TBT – Specific Biological Effects. Amendments agreed by ASMO 2008

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-15
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Other
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 3: Quantification and reporting of nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from industrial plants (Revised in 2018)

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02c
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 1: Framework and aproach of the harmonised quantification and reporting procedures for nutrients

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02a
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 5: Quantification and reporting of nitrogen and phosphorus losses from households not connected to public sewerage

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02e
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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Deselection of Substances from the OSPAR List of Substances of Possible Concern and the OSPAR List of Chemicals for Priority Action. Update 2008.

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-13
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR HARPNUT Guideline 4: Quantification and reporting of nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from waste water treatment plants and sewerage (revised in 2018)

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-02d
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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OSPAR Guidelines for fishermen and other users of the sea and its coastline

Adopted:
2004, Reykjavik
Reference Number:
Agreement 2004-09
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Human Activities
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR's Standard Implementation Reporting and Assessment Procedure. Update 2005

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-23
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Human Activities, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Offshore Industry, Radioactive Substances, Other
Language:
English
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OSPAR Recommendation 2003/5 to Promote the Use and Implementation of Environmental Management Systems by the Offshore Industry

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2003/5
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
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Agreement on Sand and Gravel Extraction

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-15
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Human Activities
Language:
English
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Guidelines for the Management of Marine Protected Areas in the OSPAR Maritime Area. Amended by BDC 2006

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-18
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity
Language:
English
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Procedure for the Development, Publication and Review of OSPAR Background Documents on Hazardous Substances Identified for Priority Action

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-26
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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Programme for the Establishment of Environmental Goals for Chemicals Discharged Offshore and the Implementation of such Goals. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-02
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2003/4 on Controlling the Dispersal of Mercury from Crematoria. Consolidated text

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2003/4
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
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Requirements for the submission of national comments (to ICES when submitting monitoring data (Replaces agreement 2001-9). Amended by ASMO 2007

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-11
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Other
Language:
English
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Reporting Formats on Mercury Losses from the Chlor-Alkali Industry (replaces agreement 2000-04)

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-05
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2003/3 on a Network of Marine Protected Areas

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2003/3
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity
Language:
English
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Minimisation of discharges and, where appropriate, the achievement of zero discharges of displacement water

Adopted:
2003, Bremen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2003-04
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
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