Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR)

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) was adopted in Paris, France in September 1992 and entered into force in March 1998.

Objectives and Approach

The Commission has adopted five strategies for directing its work. Measures and programmes within the Biodiversity Strategy include the identification of ecological quality objectives of the North Sea, development of lists of species and habitats in need of protection, identification and selection of marine protected areas, and the prevention and control of adverse impacts from human activities.

Institutional Structure

An OSPAR Commission was established to administer the Convention and to develop policy and international agreements.

Work areas

OSPAR replaced both the Oslo and Paris Conventions, with the intention of providing a comprehensive and simplified approach to addressing all sources of pollution which might affect the maritime area, as well as matters relating to the protection of the marine environment other than those relating to the prevention and elimination of pollution. It retained all decisions, recommendations and agreements adopted under the previous Conventions, subject to termination through the adoption of new measures under OSPAR.