Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Subregion 15: East Greenland Shelf

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, OSPAR
    The OSPAR Convention of 1992 replaces the 1972 Oslo Convention and the 1974 Paris Convention, but Decisions, Recommendations and all other agreements adopted under those Conventions will continue to be applicable, unaltered in their legal nature, unless they are terminated by new measures adopted under the new Convention. Executive body of the new 1992 OSPAR Convention is the OSPAR Commission. See OSPAR information on Ministerial meetings, Contracting Parties, Rules of Procedure, Strategies & Action Plan (see below), Meetings and Documents, Publications, the Quality Status Report (see below), etc. At the 1998 Ministerial Meeting of the OSPAR Commission the Ministers adopted the Sintra Statement setting out the political impetus for future action by the OSPAR Commission with a view to ensuring the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

    North-East Atlantic Fisheries Convention
    The Convention was adopted in 1959 and entered into force in 1963. The objective of the Convention is to ensure the conservation of the fish stocks and the rational exploitation of the fisheries of the North-East Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters.
    The origins of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) lie in the former Permanent Commission, founded in 1953 and formed under the 1946 Convention for the Regulation of Meshes of Fishing Nets and the Size Limits of Fish. In the early 1960s it was considered that the Commission needed a wider range of powers to regulate for the effects of the technological advances in fishing methods. In 1963 the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) was formed under the North East Atlantic Fisheries Convention to succeed the Permanent Commission. In addition to the powers of the Permanent Commission, NEAFC could also establish closed fishing areas and seasons, and regulate catch and fishing effort.

    Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean
    The objective of the Convention, adopted in 1982 and in force in 1983, is to prohibit fishing of salmon beyond areas of fisheries jurisdiction of coastal state, and also to prohibit fishing of salmon beyond 12 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured except within the area of fisheries jurisdiction of the Faroe Islands and in the West Greenland area. See also NASCO Council Resolutions
    . The Convention establishes the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, NASCO. The objective of NASCO is to contribute through consultation and cooperation to the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of salmon stocks subject to the Convention taking into account the best scientific evidence available to it. Regional commissions of NASCO are the North American Commission, the North-East Atlantic Commission, and the West Greenland Commission.

    International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES
    ICES is the oldest intergovernmental organisation in the world concerned with marine and fisheries science. Since its establishment in Copenhagen in 1902, ICES has been a leading scientific forum for the exchange of information and ideas on the sea and its living resources, and for the promotion and coordination of marine research by scientists within its member countries. Since the 1970s, a major area of ICES work as an intergovernmental marine science organization is to provide information and advice to Member Country governments and international regulatory commissions (including OSPAR and the European Commission) for the protection of the marine environment and for fisheries conservation.

    UN Economic Commission for Europe, ECE
    The Environment and Human Settlements Division is part of the secretariat of the UN ECE. It brings together economists, scientists, urban planners and other experts, and organizes the regular intergovernmental meetings of the Committee on Environmental Policy, the Executive Body for the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and the Committee on Human Settlements. At these meetings, government representatives from Europe, North America, Central Asia and Israel address environmental and human settlements issues, such as environmental impact assessment, air and water pollution, urban renewal or land registration.


    Action programmes, strategies and research


    State of the regional environment

    OSPAR Quality Status Reports, QSR
    The second version of the OSPAR QSR will be published in December 2000. Chapter 6 — Overall Assessment — is now available online. The final QSR will also include Regional QSR. Executive summaries of these chapters — Arctic Waters, the Greater North Sea, the Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast, and the Wider Atlantic — are also available.

    Status of fisheries and related environment of Northern Seas
    Report (pdf file) prepared for the Nordic Council of Ministers by ICES (February 2000). It discusses sustainability in fisheries, gives an overview of the marine environment, and gives scientific evaluation of all the commercial fish stocks where ICES has an advisory role.

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: Europe and Central Asia

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region



    Other actors, initiatives and resources

    East Greenland Shelf — a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME)
    A Large Marine Ecosystem, LME, is a "region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward margins of coastal current systems. It is a relatively large region characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations." See also Rhode Island University map of LMEs.


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on 22 August 2006