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Comparison of the 1992 OSPAR Convention and the 1992 Helsinki Convention (Essay Sample)


Explain: what is the similarities and differences between the 1992 OSPAR Convention and the 1992 Helsinki Convention?

Comparing and Contrasting the OSPAR Convention and the Helsinki Convention of 1992
Most environmental problems have international repercussions. Many such problems occur on a global scope and; thus, individual countries may not fully address or mitigate them. Therefore, environmental concerns require the attention of global or international bodies in order to be fully addressed. Consequently, a number of international agreements, also known as conventions, have been formed to address international environmental problems. Two such agreements are the OSPAR Convention and the Helsinki Convention.[European Commission. Multilateral Environmental Agreements. European Commission.]
The OSPAR Convention, officially recognized as the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, is a legislative tool for overseeing international cooperation on environmental concerns of the North-East Atlantic. It is also an update on the 1972 Oslo Convention that regulated the dumping of waste at sea. The OSPAR Convention is managed by 15 representatives of governments of the signatory nations, and the European Commission. The Helsinki Convention, on the other hand, is an international agreement concerning the prevention and elimination of pollution of the Baltic Sea. The two conventions, the OSPAR and the Helsinki Convention, have various similarities and differences.
Similarities between the OSPAR and Helsinki Conventions
First, both conventions take measures to prevent and eliminate water pollution. The OSPAR Convention watches and protects the North-East Atlantic Ocean from man-made pollution. It regulates the standards practiced by European nations on the marine biodiversity and the release of hazardous and radioactive materials into seas. The convention also monitors offshore oil and gas industries to ensure that these industries do not dispose their waste products into the ocean. The Helsinki Convention is similarly concerned with the protection of the maritime environment. The member states of the Helsinki Convention agreed to take administrative, legislative and other appropriate measures to eliminate and prevent pollution of the Baltic Sea. By so doing, they individually or jointly undertake to restore the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea and the preservation of its ecology. Therefore, both conventions deal with the protection and elimination of pollution in the maritime environment.[OSPAR Convention. Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. /html_documents/ospar/html/ospar_convention_e_updated_text_2007.pdf] [Sadeleer, N. Implementing the Precautionary Principle: Approaches from the Nordic Countries, the EU and USA.(Earthscan, 2008)]
Secondly, both the OSPAR and the Helsinki Conventions are international agreements involving the European Commission. The...
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