Bonn Agreement celebrates its 50th anniversary !

Presentation of the Joint Inter-regional HNS Manual to the 31st Meeting of the Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties and the Ministerial Segment to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Agreement.

The 31st Meeting of the Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties and the Ministerial Segment to celebrate the 50 anniversary of the Agreement was held on 9-11 October 2019 in Bonn, Germany. The Bonn Agreement is the mechanism by which ten Governments, together with the European Union, cooperate in dealing with pollution of the Greater North Sea and its Approaches by oil and other harmful substances.

Ministers approved the accession of Spain to the Agreement by incorporating the Bay of Biscay to its geographical area and the extension of its scope of action to include air emissions from shipping. The Meeting also adopted the BA Strategy Action Plan for 2019-2025 and the Bonn Declaration. Ministers stressed upon the importance of efficient maritime emergency prevention, preparedness and response and reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate with other competent international and regional organisations and bodies, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), OSPAR and HELSINKI Commissions, and the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).

The West MOPoCo project was presented at the meeting, as Bonn Agreement is one of its Beneficiary. The Secretariat introduced the Joint Interregional HNS Manual as an example of collaborative action between Regional seas organisations.

The Manual is currently under development by expert institutions in the field, Cedre, ITOPF and ISPRA, in close association with the Coastal States of the Greater North Sea and its Approaches, the Baltic and the Mediterranean and will update current guidelines and manuals on HNS preparedness and response of the BA, HELCOM and REMPEC. The Meeting agreed the contribution of the Bonn Agreement to the Manual through its Working Group on Operational, Technical and Scientific Questions Concerning Counter Pollution Activities (OTSOPA) and looked forward to its publication by the end of 2020.

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