The Europaen Commission The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
BSC LogoEC Logo


Preface Opening Speech by H.E. Mr. Osman Pepe, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Turkey Opening Speech by Prof. Hasan Sarikaya, Chairman of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution Scientific Priorities as perceived by the Black Sea scientific community List of Participants

1st Biannual Scientific Conference

The Black Sea Ecosystem 2006 and Beyond

Welcoming Speech of the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Turkey

Welcoming Speech by H.E. Mr. Osman Pepe, Minister of Environment and Forestry of Turkey

May 9, 2006 Istanbul, Turkey

Distinguished Black Sea Commission Members, Permanent Secretariat, Delegates, Representatives of the International Organizations and Countries, Scientists, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome all of you to the first “Black Sea Ecosystem 2005 and Beyond” scientific conference, which will enable us to discuss in detail the ecological problems of the Black Sea region. Welcome to Istanbul.

I believe this conference will give us, decision makers, an impetus to approach environmental problems of the Black Sea in a more realistic way and to produce solutions.

Distinguished guests,

The Black Sea is important not only because of its unique and sensitive ecosystem, but also because of its role in the economies of the coastal countries due to its rich resources.

Significant part of the pollution reaching the Black Sea is land based, a lot of which originates from the Danube river basin.

On the other hand, pollution caused by oil and other transported hazardous substances resulting from dense maritime traffic is known to be one of the biggest threats to the Black Sea region.

Realizing this, the six Black Sea coastal countries signed the “Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution” in Bucharest in 1992. We have been hosting the Secretariat of the Convention which is of great importance to us.

Even though the Black Sea coastal countries take precautions on the national level based on this Convention, other countries that connect to the Black Sea via rivers also have to take on the same responsibility.

It is important to properly dispose domestic and industrial waste originating from the Black Sea countries in order to prevent land based pollution.

On behalf of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish government we give high priority to the projects for combating pollution in the Black Sea.

We started building landfills in 5 Black Sea coastal cities in 2005, which will be completed within 2006.

In line with the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan and ongoing work on monitoring and assessment, Turkey implemented the Black Sea pollution monitoring project, under which the previous three monitoring stations were increased to 66.

Additionally, to fight pollution from maritime traffic we have done the following:

1 - We have adopted a regulation on December 26, 2004 to collect solid and other waste from the ships, to store, treat and finally dispose that waste.

To achieve that we started building licensed waste reception facilities at the harbors. Right now there are such licensed working facilities in four big Black Sea cities in Turkey.

2 - We have adopted a law in 2005, to manage possible marine accidents, and to mitigate the effects of oil and other harmful substances, which could pollute the marine environment. Work on its implementation ordinance has been continuing.

In addition, a protocol on the protection of the Black Sea biodiversity and environment was signed in 2004. The protocol is currently being implemented.

In 2005, we prepared a national action plan to combat land based pollution.

We have also plans for priority investment to prevent pollution.

As the chair of the Black Sea commission for the year 2006, and on behalf of the ministry, I would like to thank to all scientists who contributed to the conference, to the Black Sea Commission which has organized the conference, to the conference sponsors and to the country representatives for being with us.