North-east Atlantic quality report finalised

Ospar committee readies major environmental assessment for launch at June meeting

A major new environmental assessment of the north-east Atlantic is virtually complete following a week of talks in Hamburg under the auspices of the 1992 Ospar convention. Quality Status Report (QSR) 2000 should now be ready to be officially launched at the Ospar commission's annual meeting in June, the organisation's executive secretary, Ben van de Wetering, told ENDS Daily today.

Ospar's environmental assessment and monitoring committee met in Hamburg from 27 to 31 March. It agreed the bulk of QSR 2000, including an overall assessment and recommendations for future actions. More detailed individual reviews of five north-east Atlantic regions are to be published later in the year.

Mr van de Wetering admitted that parts of QSR 2000 needed further discussion by heads of delegation to the June Ospar meeting. Key sensitivities include the urgency of fisheries protection and actions to implement the historic 1998 Sintra agreement to end discharges of hazardous substances to the marine environment by 2020 (ENDS Daily 23 July 1998). Preparation of QSR 2000 began before the Sintra agreement was made but its conclusions are expected to be highly influential.

Follow Up:
Ospar, tel: +44 20 74 30 52 00.

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