«The Contracting Parties, Conscious of the economic, social, health and cultural value of the marine environment of the Mediterranean Sea Area, Fully ...»
for the Protection
of the Marine Environment
and the Coastal Region
of the Mediterranean
The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (the Barcelona
Convention) was adopted on 16 February 1976 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Coastal
States of the Mediterranean Region for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea, held in Barcelona. The
Convention entered into force on 12 February 1978.
The original Convention has been modified by amendments adopted on 10 June 1995 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution and its Protocols, held in Barcelona on 9 and 10 June 1995 (UNEP(OCA)/MED IG.6/7). The amended Convention, recorded as “Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean” has entered into force on 9 July 2004.
The Contracting Parties, Conscious of the economic, social, health and cultural value of the marine environment of the Mediterranean Sea Area, Fully aware of their responsibility to preserve and sustainably develop this common heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, Recognizing the threat posed by pollution to the marine environment, its ecological equilibrium, resources and legitimate uses, Mindful of the special hydrographic and ecological characteristics of the Mediterranean Sea Area and its particular vulnerability to pollution, Noting that existing international conventions on the subject do not cover, in spite of the progress achieved, all aspects and sources of marine pollution and do not entirely meet the special requirements of the Mediterranean Sea Area, Realizing fully the need for close cooperation among the States and international organizations concerned in a coordinated and comprehensive regional approach for Barcelona Convention the protection and enhancement of the marine environment in the Mediterranean Sea Area, Fully aware that the Mediterranean Action Plan, since its adoption in 1975 and through its evolution, has contributed to the process of sustainable development in the Mediterranean region and has represented a substantive and dynamic tool for the implementation of the activities related to the Convention and its Protocols by the Contracting Parties, Taking into account the results of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from 4 to 14 June 1992, Also taking into account the Declaration of Genoa of 1985, the Charter of Nicosia of 1990, the Declaration of Cairo of 1992 on Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation on the Environment within the Mediterranean Basin, the recommendations of the Conference of Casablanca of1993, and the Declaration of Tunis of 1994 on the Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean, Bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, done at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982 and signed by many Contracting Parties,
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the Mediterranean Sea Area shall mean the maritime waters of the Mediterranean Sea proper, including its gulfs and seas, bounded to the west by the meridian passing through Cape Spartel lighthouse, at the entrance of the Straits of Gibraltar, and to the east by the southern limits of the Straits of the Dardanelles between Mehmetcik and Kumkale lighthouses.
2. The application of the Convention may be extended to coastal areas as defined by each Contracting Party within its own territory.
3. Any Protocol to this Convention may extend the geographical coverage to which that particular Protocol applies.
2 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols Article 2 Definitions
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) “Pollution” means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment, including estuaries, which results, or is likely to result, in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of seawater and reduction of amenities.
(b) “Organization” means the body designated as responsible for carrying out secretariat functions pursuant to article 17 of this Convention.
1. The Contracting Parties, when applying this Convention and its related Protocols, shall act in conformity with international law.
2. The Contracting Parties may enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements, including regional or sub-regional agreements for the promotion of sustainable development, the protection of the environment, the conservation and preservation of natural resources in the Mediterranean Sea Area, provided that such agreements are consistent with this Convention and the Protocols and conform to international law.
Copies of such agreements shall be communicated to the Organization. As appropriate, Contracting Parties should make use of existing organizations, agreements or arrangements in the Mediterranean Sea Area.
3. Nothing in this Convention and its Protocols shall prejudice the rights and positions of any State concerning the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982.
4. The Contracting Parties shall take individual or joint initiatives compatible with international law through the relevant international organizations to encourage the implementation of the provisions of this Convention and its Protocols by all the nonparty States.
5. Nothing in this Convention and its Protocols shall affect the sovereign immunity of warships or other ships owned or operated by a State while engaged in government non-commercial service. However, each Contracting Party shall ensure that its vessels and aircraft, entitled to sovereign immunity under international law, act in a manner consistent with this Protocol.
Article 4 General Obligations
1. The Contracting Parties shall individually or jointly take all appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and those Protocols in force to which they are party to prevent, abate, combat and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area and to protect and enhance the marine environment in that Area so as to contribute towards its sustainable development.
2. The Contracting Parties pledge themselves to take appropriate measures to implement the Mediterranean Action Plan and, further, to pursue the protection of the marine environment and the natural resources of the Mediterranean Sea Area as an integral part of the development process, meeting the needs of present and future generations in an equitable manner. For the purpose of implementing the objectives of sustainable development the Contracting Parties shall take fully into account the recommendations of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development established within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan.
3. In order to protect the environment and contribute to the sustainable development of the Mediterranean Sea Area, the Contracting Parties shall:
(a) apply, in accordance with their capabilities, the precautionary principle, by virtue of which where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation;
(b) apply the polluter pays principle, by virtue of which the costs of pollution prevention, control and reduction measures are to be borne by the polluter, with due regard to the public interest;
(c) undertake environmental impact assessment for proposed activities that are likely to cause a significant adverse impact on the marine environment and are subject to an authorization by competent national authorities;
4 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (d) promote cooperation between and among States in environmental impact assessment procedures related to activities under their jurisdiction or control which are likely to have a significant adverse effect on the marine environment of other States or areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, on the basis of notification, exchange of information and consultation;
(e) commit themselves to promote the integrated management of the coastal zones, taking into account the protection of areas of ecological and landscape interest and the rational use of natural resources.
4. In implementing the Convention and the related Protocols, the Contracting
(a) adopt programmes and measures which contain, where appropriate, time limits for their completion;
(b) utilize the best available techniques and the best environmental practices and promote the application of, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technology, including clean production technologies, taking into account the social, economic and technological conditions.
5. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in the formulation and adoption of Protocols, prescribing agreed measures, procedures and standards for the implementation of this Convention.
6. The Contracting Parties further pledge themselves to promote, within the international bodies considered to be competent by the Contracting Parties, measures concerning the implementation of programmes of sustainable development, the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the environment and of the natural resources in the Mediterranean Sea Area.
The Contracting Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area caused by dumping from ships and aircraft or incineration at sea.
Barcelona Convention Article 6 Pollution from Ships The Contracting Parties shall take all measures in conformity with international law to prevent, abate, combat and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area caused by discharges from ships and to ensure the effective implementation in that Area of the rules which are generally recognized at the international level relating to the control of this type of pollution.
Article 7 Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil The Contracting Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate, combat and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area resulting from exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf and the seabed and its subsoil.
Article 8 Pollution from Land-Based Sources
The Contracting Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate, combat and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area and to draw up and implement plans for the reduction and phasing out of substances that are toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate arising from land-based sources.
These measures shall apply:
(a) to pollution from land-based sources originating within the territories of
the Parties, and reaching the sea:
– directly from outfalls discharging into the sea or through coastal disposal;
– indirectly through rivers, canals or other watercourses, including underground watercourses, or through run-off;
(b) to pollution from land-based sources transported by the atmosphere.
6 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols Article 9 Cooperation in Dealing with Pollution Emergencies
1. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in taking the necessary measures for dealing with pollution emergencies in the Mediterranean Sea Area, whatever the causes of such emergencies, and reducing or eliminating damage resulting therefrom.
2. Any Contracting Party which becomes aware of any pollution emergency in the Mediterranean Sea Area shall without delay notify the Organization and, either through the Organization or directly, any Contracting Party likely to be affected by such emergency.
The Contracting Parties shall, individually or jointly, take all appropriate measures to protect and preserve biological diversity, rare or fragile ecosystems, as well as species of wild fauna and flora which are rare, depleted, threatened or endangered and their habitats, in the area to which this Convention applies.
Article 11 Pollution Resulting from the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal The Contracting Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate and to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the environment which can be caused by transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous wastes, and to reduce to a minimum, and if possible eliminate, such transboundary movements.
Article 12 Monitoring
1. The Contracting Parties shall endeavour to establish, in close cooperation with the international bodies which they consider competent, complementary or joint programmes, including, as appropriate, programmes at the bilateral or multilateral levels, for pollution monitoring in the Mediterranean Sea Area and shall endeavour to establish a pollution monitoring system for that Area.
2. For this purpose, the Contracting Parties shall designate the competent authorities responsible for pollution monitoring within areas under their national jurisdiction and shall participate as far as practicable in international arrangements for pollution monitoring in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
3. The Contracting Parties undertake to cooperate in the formulation, adoption and implementation of such annexes to this Convention as may be required to prescribe common procedures and standards for pollution monitoring.
Article 13 Scientific and Technological Cooperation