OSPAR – Protecting the North-East Atlantic

The OSPAR Commission is an international organisation comprising 15 countries and representatives of the EU that carries out the work of the OSPAR Convention. The main goal is to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

This vast marine area includes Arctic waters and areas beyond national jurisdiction as well as the North Sea including the Kattegat and Skagerrak.

The governments involved in achieving this common objective include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The goal is to be achieved through the North-East Atlantic Environmental Strategy which is divided into five key areas:

  • Biological Diversity & Ecosystems
  • Eutrophication
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Offshore Oil & Gas Industry
  • Radioactive Substances

More can be read on OSPAR's website. OSPAR's published e-newsletters are also a good resource for keeping up to date on its work.

Our role in OSPAR

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) acts as the Swedish Head of Delegation within OSPAR and leads the coordinating efforts within the country.

We also assist in building networks among interested organisations and then mobilizes them to carry out the work that benefits OSPAR's goal. Within OSPAR's decisions, which are legally binding to the Contracting Parties, recommendations and other agreements can be adopted.

Published: 2013-12-06
Updated: 2012-07-09