mission georaphy socio-economy environment

The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution

Permanent Secretariat

Declaration of the Ministers of Environment of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution

Adopted at the Meeting of the Ministers of Environment of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Sofia 2002

We, the Ministers responsible for the protection of the environment in the Black Sea coastal states, assembled in Sofia,

Reaffirming the importance of the Black Sea and its Ecosystem as a valuable natural endowment of the region,

Acknowledging the special economic and social significance of the Black Sea for the peoples of the coastal states,

Having in mind the specific hydrological regime of the Black Sea  and the vulnerability of its unique ecosystem,

Taking into account that the deterioration of the water quality, biological diversity degradation, amenities loss and potential health problems caused by the intensive use of the Black Sea resources and by the pollution.

Reaffirming the principles of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution together with its constituent Protocols, signed in Bucharest  on 21April 1992,

Noting also that the Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea signed in Odessa on 7 April 1993 and the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea, signed in Istanbul on 31 October 1996, are aimed inter alia, at sustainable development of the coastal states,

Noting also that the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its constituent  Protocols do not cover all the aspects of the conservation of the Black Sea ecosystem and the further development of its bio-productive potential and recreational capacity,

Bearing in mind that a considerable amount of the pollutants discharged into the Black Sea originates in non-coastal states within the Black Sea basin,

Convinced that the cooperation for environmental protection and rehabilitation, and in sustainable development in the Black Sea basin  is crucial for the recovery of the Black Sea ecosystem and for the sustainable use of its natural resources,

Welcoming the assistance rendered by the GEF, UNDP, UNEP, The World Bank, EC and IMO,

Keeping in mind that as a consequence of the enlargement process the EU will have  Black Sea coast line in the foreseeable future,

Welcoming also the commitment of the European Commission to support the protection of the aquatic environment in the Danube/Black Sea region and the establishment of the DABLAS Task Force,

Supporting the principles of the Declaration on the Water and the Water Related Ecosystems in the Wider Black Sea Region adopted in Brussels on 26 November 2001,

Appreciating the cooperation held and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, signed in Brussels on 26 November 2001,

Noting that it was agreed by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution at its Eighth Extraordinary Meeting held in Istanbul on 20 February 2002 and taking into account relevant resolution of the Meeting of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States held in Kyiv on 26 April 2002 that BSC Permanent Secretariat is willing to undertake the finalization of the Draft Convention on Fisheries and Conservation of the Black Sea living Resources,

Being informed about some positive changes of the water quality and the state of the Black Sea ecosystem observed in the Black Sea in the recent years,

Looking forward to the prompt adoption of the Black Sea  Contingency Plan to the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Black Sea Marine Environment by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Emergency Situations,

 

Further acknowledging the increased efficiency of the Black Sea Commission, its work done and  its institutional structure functioning;

Acknowledging the role of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea as the basic instrument for performing the concerted actions needed for the improvement of the Black Sea environment; nevertheless remaining concerned about the considerable delay in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea

Concerned with the lack of the commonly agreed indicators of the efficiency of the implemented measures and weak information exchange on the progress made and measures required

Recalling that convening of five year meetings of the Ministers, responsible for the rehabilitation and protection of the marine environment of the Black Sea and aiming at evaluating the progress made and the adoption of any additional actions that may be required to attain the common regional environmental objectives is called upon in the Strategic Action Plan, for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea

DECLARE:

Our joint political will towards joint action aiming at the further improvement of the the Black Sea and the state of its marine and coastal ecosystems, by way of, among other things, taking all appropriate measures to achieve good water status of all the water bodies in the region,

Our support at the national level for speeding up the ratification process for the Protocol on the Biological and Landscape Diversity Protection to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its early enactment,

Our commitment to intensify the countries endeavours to implement the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea within the revised implementation timeframe as adopted at this meeting,

Our firm intention to support the regional mechanism for cooperation in more effective way by rendering the necessary assistance to  the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, its Permanent Secretariat , and its subsidiary bodies as well as projects, programs and studies undertaken in the framework of the Strategic Action Plan on the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea ,

Our renewed commitment to the support the Activity Centres established in accordance with the Resolutions of the Bucharest Conference, April 1992,

Our appreciation of the initiative taken by the Commission to take upon itself the function of the Black Sea Subregional Coordination Bureau for the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Contiguous Atlantic Ocean,  

Our further encouragement for the Commission to play a facilitating role in the fulfilment of the commitments made by the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution at the national and regional levels on the basis of other international instruments relevant to protection of water related ecosystems and biodiversity,

Our commitment to actively support the  implementation of the Black Sea Ecosystems Recovery Project,

Our determination to improve the data collection and management process in the framework of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and to establish a regular information and data flow between the coastal states’ competent authorities and institutions and the Commission and to immediately start the regional environment monitoring activities,

Our decision to strengthen the work at the national and regional level in sectoral integration in the environmental management, introduction and extensive use of economic environment management tools,

Our support for the implementation and further development and enlargement the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube river,

Our resolution to accelerate the implementation of priority environmental projects in the region and to support the  DABLAS Task Force as an important instrument for region-wide coordination,

Our intention to apply the water basin management principles, define regional environmental objectives and identify priority actions towards their achievements as well as to promote the cooperation with all large river management bodies/projects in the Black Sea basin,

Our intention to agree upon the regional indicators of the progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea and of the state of the environment,

Our willingness to promote cooperation with other states, regional and international organizations sharing the objectives of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution,

Our intention to meet regularly to evaluate the progress made and identify additional actions that may be needed for the achievement of our regionally established common environmental objectives.

Done in Sofia in the English language on the fourteenth day of June 2002.


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