OSPAR has become an Associated Member of the NORMAN network

9 December 2020

The OSPAR Commission has become an Associated Member of NORMAN (Network of reference laboratories, research centres and related organisations for monitoring of emerging environmental substances), which comprises a collaborative network of over 80 research, government and other agencies. This is an exciting collaboration that brings mutual benefits to both organisations.

What is NORMAN?

The NORMAN Association is a science-to-policy interface with a mission to enhance the exchange of information and collection of data on emerging environmental substances. It also encourages validation and harmonisation of common measurement methods and monitoring tools so that the demands of risk assessors can be better met and ensures that knowledge of emerging pollutants is maintained and developed by stimulating coordinated, interdisciplinary projects on problem-oriented research and knowledge transfer to address identified needs.

Mutual benefits for OSPAR and NORMAN

NORMAN organises a range of activities, including expert group meetings, workshops, policy briefs, databases and methods validation exercises, all of which are included in its Annual Joint Programme of Activities. OSPAR’s Working Group on Monitoring and on Trends and Effects of Substances in the Marine Environment (MIME) can contribute proposals for NORMAN’s Programme of Activities, to advance the priorities of OSPAR and the Hazardous Substances and Eutrophication Committee (HASEC).

There are mutual benefits for OSPAR and NORMAN. For example, the NORMAN network is currently active in a variety of integrated research and monitoring projects in freshwater and marine environments with specific expertise and dedicated working groups including those on;

o Ecotoxicology,

o Passive Sampling,

o Non-Target Screening and

o Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) prioritisation

Each of these thematic areas is closely aligned to MIME’s Work Programme areas in respect of monitoring of chemical contaminants, risk evaluation and in ecosystem-based approaches to protection of the marine environment, with close alignment to the integrated aims of the MSFD.

Furthermore, HASEC is updating and rationalising the OSPAR List of Chemicals for Priority Action (LCPA) and List of Substances of Possible Concern (LSPC). The OSPAR-wide pilot target and suspect contaminant screening (the CONNECT[1] project) together with NORMAN’s extensive databases of ecotoxicological data can be used to help this process through guiding prioritisation of substances for the LCPA and LSPC.

For more information:





[1] CONnECT (CONtaminants of Emerging Concern and Threat in the marine environment)