OSPAR 2018 held in Paris
Following a busy week of discussions, OSPAR agreed to host a Ministerial meeting in Portugal in 2020 where they will adopt a new strategy to protect the North-East Atlantic. OSPAR also elected a new Chair and Vice-Chairs and adopted a range of policy actions.
OSPAR updated measures requiring countries to prevent and eliminate pollution caused by radioactive discharges from the nuclear sector by applying the best available techniques (BAT) and the best environmental practice (BEP). It was also announced that 17 new Marine Protected Areas were added to OSPAR’s network this year bringing the total to 465, covering 6.3% of the North-East Atlantic.
The Commission also gave consideration to a possible enlargement of OSPAR Maritime Area to cover the Macaronesian region in the future.
OSPAR nominated Richard Cronin (Ireland) as its new Chair. He said that OSPAR Contracting Parties should “take time to celebrate the successes of the Commission” before going on to remind participants that they should “…be proud of the solid foundation of intergovernmental trust and cooperation for which the OSPAR Commission is known”. He believed cooperation was vital to the health of the North-East Atlantic, but that only by strengthening commitment and developing ambitious visions to protect the marine environment can progress be made.
Sesselja Bjarnadóttir (Iceland) and John Clorley (United Kingdom) were elected as vice-Chairs.
Image: By Coldcreation - User:Coldcreation, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44901731