We have good news and certainly reason to celebrate! The extension of the ASCOBANS Agreement Area, agreed on by Parties at MoP4 in 2003, will enter into force on 3 February 2008. Finland was the fifth country to formally accept the Amendment to the Agreement, following France, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The Agreement's name will also change to reflect the new geographic coverage: "Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas".
With the significant enlargement of the area covered by ASCOBANS westward, not only did ASCOBANS gain three more Range States, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, who will continue to be encouraged to join the other ten Parties as member states, also its political footprint will be significantly larger. The new areas of the North East Atlantic and Irish Seas bring with them different species compositions and a wider set of issues and threats that need to be addressed. But they also increase the scientific expertise the Agreement bodies can draw from and provide a chance to coordinate conservation measures of small cetaceans more effectively in a wider context. The next Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee in the spring of 2008 will further consider the implications of the extension for the organisation and work plan of the various Agreement bodies. The ASCOBANS area will then be contiguous to that of its sister Agreement, ACCOBAMS.
The CMS/ASCOBANS Secretariat will be very happy to assist those five Parties that have not yet completed their adoption in any way possible. All Range States joining ASCOBANS after the extension comes into force will automatically accede to the Agreement as amended.
Last updated on 21 March 2014