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Evaluation of the implementation of Ospar measures in Sweden
Perfomers of environmental monitoring, Institutes, Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment, HMI.
Responsible organisation
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The adoption of measures to protect and conserve the marine environment of the NorthEast Atlantic is a field in which the OSPAR Commission has been working for over thirty years. OSPAR measures in the form of Decisions and Recommendations for the protection of the marine environment have often acted as a forerunner of European Union environmental action. Substantial progress has been made in addressing discharges, emissions and losses of hazardous substances, nutrients and radioactive substances. While these fields still remain relevant, OSPAR’s work on measures has now moved on to focus on biological diversity.

Since 2011, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) has been responsible for the coordination of Sweden’s work within the OSPAR Convention for the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. SwAM is also responsible for the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to achieve good environmental status in Sweden’s marine waters and for those national Environmental Quality Objectives most relevant to the aquatic environment.

This report examines and elaborates the contribution of the development and implementation of OSPAR measures to achieving good environmental status and moving towards Sweden’s environmental quality objectives. Following a general background on OSPAR, MSFD and Sweden’s system of environmental quality objectives, the development and history of OSPAR measures (decisions and recommendations) is described. The development of a methodology for evaluation of the implementation of OSPAR measures is presented. This methodology has then been used to guide an evaluation of the implementation of OSPAR measures in Sweden based on information report to OSPAR and available from national authorities. Finally a series of conclusions and recommendations are presented to guide future implementation work on OSPAR measures. It is clear that Sweden’s engagement in OSPAR has been of benefit in promoting marine environmental protection both in Sweden and other countries sharing the marine waters that surround Sweden. Overall, Sweden has a strong track record of engagement in OSPAR work and in fulfilling its commitments and obligations. The report does, however, highlight a small number of long-standing measures where implementation has not been completed either because the requirements of the measure have not been met or because a full implementation has not been demonstrated in the information reported even though it has occurred. For more the recently adopted biodiversity measures the implementation process is still underway. The evaluation highlights a number of steps that could be taken to secure this legacy through improved information recording and also points towards areas where an improved national implementation process could assist OSPAR work.

The report recommends that SwAM promotes that any future measures adopted by OSPAR have a more clearly described regional coordination role in the context of MSFD. This can help build synergy and reciprocity between the two processes with OSPAR offering a regional coordination mechanism to support MSFD objectives and the legal framework of the MSFD providing a means to underpin work towards OSPAR’s objectives. Alongside this efforts should continue to make use of OSPAR to pioneer new forms of action for which regional coordination would be of benefit (as has been the case in the past with hazardous substances and biodiversity, litter and noise), both within the context of MSFD and beyond. Increased recognition of the contribution of Sweden’s engagement in regional sea cooperation (including through OSPAR) to the system of environmental objectives would enhance understanding and profile of the regional sea work. An official description of how OSPAR and other regional sea work, such as through HELCOM, are seen to apply in areas where the convention areas overlap would help to guide work by other state authorities.

SwAM is recommended to continue Sweden’s positive record of engagement in OSPAR work by ensuring that the quality of information provided on the implementation of measures is sufficiently detailed to provide a fully auditable record of Sweden’s implementation of OSPAR measures. It is recommended that, for the avoidance of doubt, Swedish authorities reporting on implementation of OSPAR measures should always provide a national view on whether a measure has been fully implemented or whether work to implement the measure is still in progress.

Efforts to enhance the engagement of implementing bodies in work to implement OSPAR’s measures need to be nurtured and supported to build the engagement of other relevant national authorities, county administration boards and municipalities. It is suggested to consider an improved information recording on the national implementation process for OSPAR measures. This would benefit the implementation process for the more recently adopted biodiversity measures. There may be synergies that could be developed with existing information systems developed in other contexts, such as VISS (developed by the Water Authorities for Water Framework Directive measures) or Skötsel DOS (developed by SEPA for measures in protected areas). 

Within OSPAR, SwAM is invited to consider promoting approaches to develop a better shared understanding of how and when formal OSPAR decisions and recommendations should be developed which would help those Contracting Party delegates charged with the development of programmes and measures. SwAM is invited to propose that OSPAR work to develop its information systems includes the recording information on measures and their implementation. It is proposed that information on OSPAR measures compiled in spreadsheet form to support analysis in this project would provide a basis for a relational database on OSPAR measures. Building systems for reporting on implementation with improved content management by Contracting Parties would be beneficial to the OSPAR measures and actions programme (MAP). There may be benefits in coordinating this work with other Regional Sea Organisations. To support work according its commitment to apply an ecosystem approach OSPAR should also continue to develop its evaluation of the implementation of measures in close association with the development of its monitoring and assessment work. SwAM is invited to make use of the framework for the evaluation of the implementation of OSPAR measures developed in this project to support discussion in OSPAR on future implementation of measures and its link to the evaluation of the effectiveness of measures in OSPAR monitoring and assessment work.

Abstract [sv]

Denna rapport presenterar resultat från en granskning av hur Sverige genomför de beslut, rekommendationer och andra överenskommelser som antagits av OSPAR.

Rapporten belyser även hur OSPAR-arbetet hänger ihop med EU:s havsmiljödirektiv och våra svenska miljömålsystem och hur de olika processerna kan stärka varandra. Den ger oss också tankar och underlag som kan hjälpa oss att bygga upp ett uppföljningssystem för OSPAR-relaterade åtgärder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg, 2016.
Series
Havs- och vattenmyndighetens rapport ; 2016:23
Keywords [en]
marine environment, Ospar, EU, Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Keywords [sv]
Oslo-Pariskonventionen, Ospar, marin miljö, havsmiljödirektivet
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Finance, National; Coast and Sea, Investigations, analyses and infrastructure; Environmental Objectives, A Balanced Marine Environment, Flourishing Coastal Areas and Archipelagos
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:havochvatten:diva-118ISBN: 978-91-87967-34-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:havochvatten-118DiVA, id: diva2:1368455
Available from: 2019-11-07 Created: 2019-11-07 Last updated: 2019-11-07

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