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MEMO/10/449

Brussels, 27 September 2010

Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on the Ministerial meeting of the Convention for the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR)

"I welcome the decision by OSPAR ministers to protect remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean through the establishment of the world's first high seas network of Marine Protected Areas beyond national jurisdiction. Now the protected areas cover 433 000 km². I hope this breakthrough will have a positive influence on the global negotiations in Nagoya next month on the issue of the protection of marine biodiversity.

I support the recommendation adopted on oil drillings, which proposes to look at the results of ongoing investigations in the US and at the proposals which the Commission will make in October. I look forward to the adoption of actions as from the next annual OSPAR Commission in 2011.

On marine litter, the Commission now has a good basis for developing proposals. During my mandate as Environment Commissioner, I am committed to speeding up our action to tackle this complex problem in close consultation with stakeholders, scientists, NGOs and industry.

I would also like to congratulate OSPAR for the adoption of its North East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2020. This Strategy will restructure OSPAR to better facilitate the coordinated implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive by Member States in this marine region."

Background:

The Convention for the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) Ministerial meeting met on 23-24 September. Amongst other important decisions, they adopted the Bergen Statement.

On the Marine Strategy Framework Directive:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/marine/index_en.htm

On regional sea conventions:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/marine/conventions_en.htm

On the Bergen statement:

http://www.ospar.org/html_documents/ospar/news/ospar_2010_bergen_statement.pdf


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