Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practice (BEP)

The OSPAR Convention requires Contracting Parties to apply Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practice (BEP) including, where appropriate, clean technology, in its efforts to prevent and eliminate marine pollution.

OSPAR pioneered this concept and has adopted a large number of Recommendations and Decisions on BAT and BEP for various industrial technologies and sources of land-based pollution.

As defined in Appendix 1 of the OSPAR Convention BAT “means the latest stage of development (state of the art) of processes, of facilities or of methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting discharges, emissions and waste”. BEP is defined as “the application of the most appropriate combination of environmental control measures and strategies”.

It follows that BAT and BEP for a particular source will change with time in the light of technological advances, economic and social factors, as well as changes in scientific knowledge and understanding.