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The Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea

(Adopted at the Ministerial Conference held at the City of Istanbul, 31 October, 1996. The full text is available from the Black Sea Environmental Programme, II Harekat Kosku, Dolmabahce Sarayi, Besiktas, 80680, Istanbul, Turkey)

Twenty Major Points

· adoption of a new institutional framework for the Black Sea, building on the achievements of BSEP and including the creation of a project implementation unit within the Secretariat of the Istanbul Commission; 

- encouragement of a basin-wide approach to certain policy areas; 

- implementation of profound fiscal reform - the implementation of the polluter pays principle for pollution source control by 1999 - through the adoption of permitting and licensing procedures addressing common

- Water Quality Criteria for specific types of water use; 

- abatement of priority hot spots by the year 2006 - public progress reports in 2000 and 2005; 

- development of specific plans for waste water treatment plants for sewage in all coastal cities by 2000; 

- adoption of measures to control pollution from vessels using the 'Port State Control' approach with meaningful incentives and penalties;

- implementation of packages of measures for dumping, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, emergency response, etc.;

- publication of five-yearly 'State of the Black Sea' reports based upon a joint monitoring system and regular surveys of land-based sources of pollution;

- introduction of a regime for the joint control of fisheries based upon a quota system for capture and the rehabilitation of key ecosystems which act as nursery grounds; 

- development of a new Protocol on Black Sea Biological and Landscape Diversity; 

- the design of a comprehensive package of investments in conservation areas (wetlands and marine ecosystems); 

- the introduction of compulsory Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Audits and Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments with harmonised criteria; 

- development of a regional strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management with associated legal instruments by 1999; 

- economic development in the areas of sustainable aquaculture and tourism; 

- increased attention to public participation, based upon a comprehensive package including local authorities, NGOs, private sector, Regional Environmental Centres, schools, etc.; 

- enhanced transparency through rights of access to information and improved public awareness; 

- continuation of the BS-SAP process at the national level through the development of National Black Sea Strategic Action Plans; 

- organisation of five-yearly donor meetings including the development of blended packages of investment based upon revisions of the NBS-SAPs; 

- completion of a feasibility study of the Black Sea Environmental Fund which could be supported by regionally-applied economic instruments and would address incremental costs; 

- regular and transparent revision of progress on implementation and the updating of the SAP objectives.