Black Sea Commission convened in Istanbul
On 25-26th May, 2015, the Istanbul hosted the 24th Meeting of the Advisory Group on the Environmental Safety Aspects of Shipping (ESAS) of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, also called the Black Sea Commission.
May, 2015, the Istanbul hosted the 24th Meeting of the Advisory
Group on the Environmental Safety Aspects of Shipping (ESAS) of the Commission on the Protection of
the Black Sea Against Pollution, also called the Black Sea Commission.
Delegations from Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine took part in the meeting.
The ESAS Advisory Group is one of the 6 sectoral groups of the Black Sea Commission which meets annually to discuss the shipping-related activities of the six Black Sea countries - Contracting Parties to the Bucharest Convention.
The ESAS AG meeting focused on the Annual reporting to the Black Sea Commission; progress in cooperation with relevant organizations (IMO, EMSA, industries etc.), participation in new initiatives, projects and calls of proposals; status of cooperation and implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between International Maritime Organization (IMO) and BSC.
The meeting also addressed the issues of regional contingency response planning, response operations, regional and national exercises carried out in 2014/2015 and will discuss the Plan to carry out the new exercises in 2015/16 in accordance with the Long-term Plan for the Oil spill preparedness exercises in the Black Sea.
The participants discussed the progress with elaboration of Draft Guidelines for oil spill exercises and Guidelines on best practices in dispersants, risk assessment, offshore installations, based on the experience of countries, industry (OSPRI) and other Regional Sea Conventions. The issues of exchange of ballast water (mainly for short sea voyages), as well as environmental aspects of offshore activities will be also discussed.
In line with Draft Guidelines for Oil Spill Exercises, the participants carried out the Black Sea Echo exercise, aimed to demonstrate the state-of-the-art of a specific topic, e.g. a type of equipment, a response method, and means of communication or scientific tests.
Great emphasis was given to ensuring the feedback from relevant observers from the Contracting Parties (Coastal Safety Administration of Turkey), international organizations (EMSA) and industries (OSPRI) to benefit from their remarks and observations.
After the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Bucharest Convention) and its Protocols were signed in Bucharest by all the Contracting Parties, these documents became the powerful instruments of International Environmental Law in the Black Sea Basin. Nowadays, the Bucharest Convention is one of the most known Regional Sea Conventions, establishing the legal ground for combating pollution from land-based sources and maritime transport, achieving sustainable management of marine living resources and pursuing sustainable human development in the Black Sea Region.
The activity under the Convention, its Protocols implemented by relevant Convention’ bodies allowed to significantly increase the public involvement, address transboundary environmental issues and to introduce the sound environmental decision making related to the sustainable use of the Black Sea.
The meeting was held on 25-26th May, 2015 in Istanbul at Point Hotel Taksim at which achievements and challenges related to environmental aspects of shipping activities in the Black Sea were also discussed.
The meeting was chaired by Capt. Adrian Alexe from Romania. On the last day of the meeting; Commission elected the new Chairperson for the next term, who was Mr. Roman Bashtannyi from Ukraine.