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Subregional workshop on the implementation of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents Erevan, Armenia 13-15 March 2003 Sergiusz Ludwiczak United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Focus of my presentation:

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Subregional workshop on the implementation of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents

Erevan, Armenia 13-15 March 2003

Sergiusz Ludwiczak

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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Focus of my presentation:
  • KEY OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE UNECE CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARY EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS(Industrial Accidents Convention)

also

  • Status of ratification of the Convention
  • Other UNECE Multilateral Environmental Agreements
ece conventions tools for transboundary cooperation
ECE CONVENTIONS – TOOLSFOR TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION

What is the UNECE?

  • It is one of the five Regional Commissions of the United Nations
  • Its main task – integration of the countries of the region, and in particular the integration of the countries with economies in transition into the European economy
  • Its membership - 55 member countries (Europe, North America and Central Asia)
ece conventions tools for transboundary cooperation5
ECE CONVENTIONS – TOOLSFOR TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION

Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Significant achievements within the framework of the UNECE (seventeen legally binding instruments):

  • Five Conventions – all in force
  • Nine Protocols – five in force
  • Three new legally binding instruments –ready for adoption in Kiev in 2003
ece conventions tools for transboundary cooperation6
ECE CONVENTIONS – TOOLSFOR TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION

Conventions:

  • 1979 Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
  • 1991 Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context
  • 1992 Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
  • 1992 Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents
  • 1998 Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
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The Convention aims to:

Protect human beings and the environment against major industrial accidents by preventing such accidents as far as possible, by reducing their frequency and severity and by mitigating their effects

Promote cooperation between member countries of the UNECE region, not only between governments at the national level but in particular between local authorities and communities on both sides of a border

CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

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CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

This complex instrument applies to the:

Prevention

Industrial accidents

Civil liability

Preparedness

Response

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The number of countries that are Parties to it; and

The extent it is implemented and applied in practice

CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

The effectiveness of the Convention depends on:

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Is the current ratification status satisfactory?

No, it is not – a major concern

Although the number of ratifications is increasing, the pace of extending the geographical scope of the Convention is too slow

CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents
NORWAY

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

ALBANIA

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

HUNGARY

LUXEMBOURG

BULGARIA

ARMENIA

SPAIN

GREECE

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY

GERMANY

SWITZERLAND

AUSTRIA

FINLAND

SWEDEN

CROATIA

ESTONIA

CZECH REPUBLIC

LITHUANIA

KAZAKHSTAN

DENMARK

MONACO

SLOVENIA

ITALY

UNITED KINGDOM

CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

Parties to the Convention

convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents15
ARMENIA

Azerbaijan

Georgia

KAZAKHSTAN

Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan

Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

The Caucasian and Central Asian UNECE member countries

convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents16
CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

Is there any progress in applying the Convention in practice since its entry into force?

YES, significant progress has been achieved

convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents17
CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS
  • On the basis of the first Report on the Implementation of the Convention, prepared by the Working Group on Implementation for the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties
    • Most of the Parties met their reporting obligation. Only two other UNECE member countries submitted reports on a voluntary basis
convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents18
CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

Findings:

  • A good number of Parties and other UNECE member countries are well advanced in fulfilling their tasks at the national level
  • Cross-boarder cooperation is being undertaken or developed between countries of the region(The Polish-Russian transboundary response exercise is a good example)
  • The CoP took important decisions to facilitate the cooperation between Parties and to ensure a basis for a common approach
convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents19
CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS
  • However, not all the tasks have so far been implemented and not by all Parties
  • The CoP considered how to strengthen the Convention’s implementationand adopted a special decision
  • A programme for some of the CITs is envisaged to assist them in ratifying and implementing the Convention
    • Subregional workshop – essential element
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The Convention:

Promotes bilateral transboundary cooperation – an essential feature

Sets the bilateral obligations and the legal framework for such cooperation

Comprises a set of obligations:

At the national level - prerequisites

At the intergovernmental level - facilitation

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Designation of Competent Authorities

Bilateral task: Inform other Parties of the designated competent authorities

National task: Designate or establish competent authorities responsible for the Convention’s implementation

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Competent Authorities

Most Parties designated their competent authorities

Depending on the country there is one or more authorities

Good coordination at the country level is a condition for efficient transboundary cooperation

In some cases, theefficient flow of information and coordination seems to be a problem

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Identification and notification of hazardous activities

(This a difficult task but a crucial step to make the Convention work)

Bilateral task: Notify (discuss) neighbouring country(ies)

National task: Identify hazardous activities according to:

annex I to the Convention (substance and quantity criteria) – similar to Annex I of the “Seveso II” Directive

Intergovernmental task: Ensure acommon approach:

The CoP agreed on the following location criteria:

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

Identification of hazardous activities

Activities within 15 km from the border

Activities further away but alongor within a catchment area of a transboundary or border river

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Prevention of industrial accidents

Bilateral task: Share experience and assist other countries in introducing preventive measures

National task: Takeappropriate measures andrequire operatorsto demonstrate the safe performance of hazardous activities

Intergovernmental task: Draw up and disseminate best practices/guidelines on prevention of industrial accidents, including accidental water pollution:

Joint work with the Water Convention and International River Commissions

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

Emergency preparedness and response

Bilateral task: Provide information on on-site contingency plans and make off-site plans compatible/joint plans

National task: Establish and maintain adequate preparedness and response measures, including: on-site and off-site contingency plans

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Emergency preparednessand response

Intergovernmental task: Provide a forum to share experience on establishing and implementing preparedness and response measures and promote transboundary training and exercises

Three examples:

International Workshop and exercise on Industrial Safety and Water Protection in Transboundary River Basins (3-5 October 2001, Tiszaújváros, Hungary);

Polish-Russian transboundary response exercise in Kętrzyn

Czech-German transboundary response exercise

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Industrial accident notification

Bilateral task: Immediatelynotifythe affected country(ies) in the event of a major industrial accident with transboundary effects (at national, regional and local levels)

National tasks:

Establish and operatenotification systems at the national and other (regional and local) levels;

Designate a national point of contact – operational 24 hours a day

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Industrial Accidents Notification

Intergovernmental task: Ensure acommon approach:

TheCoP accepted the UNECE Industrial Accident Notification System as an early warning tool for notifying a major accident at national level;

The system comprises:

A network of national points of contact (36 countries);

Procedure and set of notification forms to be used:

Early warning report, Information report, Assistance request report

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Past industrial accidents

Bilateral task: Shareinformation withother Parties on past industrial accidents with transboundary effects

National task: Reporton pastindustrial accidents

Intergovernmental task: Ensure a common approach:

The CoP decided to establish and operate the UNECE Past Industrial Accident Reporting System within the EU-MARS (Major Accident Reporting System) – joint work with the EC Major Accident Hazards Bureau

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

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Mutual assistance in case of a major accident:

Within the UNECE Industrial Accident Notification System

Scientific and technological cooperation, exchange of information:

Exchangeinformation, experience and technology related to prevention, preparedness and response to industrial accidents

Information to and participation of the public:

Informthe potentially affected public in the neighbouring country andprovideopportunity to participate in relevant procedures - equal treatment

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

KEY OBLIGATIONS

Other areas of bilateral cooperation include:

industrial accidents convention
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Civil liability for transboundary damage caused by transboundary effects of industrial accidents

A new challenge for the Parties to both the Industrial Accidents and the Water Conventions

industrial accidents convention33
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Civil liability for transboundary damage

  • Accidental cyanide spill in Romania in early 2000
  • Initiative of the Government of Switzerland to draw up a protocol on civil liability to the UNECE Industrial Accidents and Water Conventions
  • Working Group on Legal and Administrative Aspects identifies shortcomings of existing international civil liability instruments in their report on “Responsibility and liability in relation to accidental water pollution”
industrial accidents convention34
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Civil liability for transboundary damage

  • The Parties to the UNECE Conventions on Industrial Accidents and on Water, at a special joint session in July 2001, decided to launch an intergovernmental negotiation process to draw up a legally binding instrument for transboundary damage caused by hazardous activities within the framework of both Conventions
  • Established an Intergovernmental Working Group on Civil Liability with a mandate to draw up the instrument
industrial accidents convention35
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Civil liability for transboundary damage

  • The Working Group held seven meetings in 2001-2003 under a very effective chairmanship of Ms. Livada (Greece)
  • The negotiation process was successfully completed on 27 February 2003
  • Wide participation of all stakeholders: governments, industry, insurance sector and NGOs
  • The draft Protocol is now ready for adoption at the Kiev Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” and will be open for signature by UNECE member countries
industrial accidents convention36
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

The scope of application of the Protocol is limited to damage caused by transboundary effects of industrial accidents on transboundary waters (interface approach)

Water

Industrial accidents

industrial accidents convention37
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Conference of the Parties

  • Constituted as the Convention’s governing body at its first meeting in Brussels in November 2000
  • Held its second meeting in Chisinau on 6-8 November 2002
  • Its third meeting is scheduled for 2004 in Budapest
industrial accidents convention39
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Bureau of the Conference of the Parties

Chairperson: Mr. Ernst Berger (Switzerland)

Vice-Chairpersons: Mr. Jürgen Wettig (European Commission)

Mr. Pal Popelyak(Hungary)

Members (Parties): Mr. Ludwig Dinkloh (Germany)

Mr. Pietro La Grotta (Italy)

Mr. Evgeny Gorshkov (Russian Federation)

Mr. Ulf Bjurman (Sweden)

(non-Parties) Mr. Tomas Trcka (Slovakia)

industrial accidents convention40
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS CONVENTION

Future meetings under the Convention

  • Second joint special session of the governing bodies of the Industrial Accidents and Water Conventions within the framework of the Kiev Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” – adoption of the

Civil Liability Protocol

21 May 2003 (Kiev, Ukraine)

  • Second meeting of the Working Group on Implementation

Second half of 2003

  • Consultation of the points of contact within the UNECE Industrial Accident Notification System

10-11 November 2003 (Bratislava, Slovakia)

convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents41
CONVENTION ON THE TRANSBOUNDARYEFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

I invite you to visit the Convention’s Internet home page at the following address:

http://www.unece.org/env/teia/welcome.html

Thank you