Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution

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on long-range transboundary air pollution


DETERMINED to promote relations and cooperation in the field of environmental protection,
AWARE of the significance of the activities of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in strengthening such relations and cooperation, particularly in the field of air pollution including long-range transport of air pollutants,
RECOGNIZING the contribution of the Economic Commission for Europe to the multilateral implementation of the pertinent provisions of the Final Act of the Conference on security and cooperation in Europe,
COGNIZANT of the references in the chapter on environment of the Final Act of the Conference on security and cooperation in Europe calling for cooperation to control air pollution and its effects, including long-range transport of air pollutants, and to the development through international cooperation of an extensive programme for the monitoring and evaluation of long-range transport of air pollutants, starting with sulphur dioxide and with possible extension to other pollutants,
CONSIDERING the pertinent provisions of the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the human environment, and in particular principle 21, which expresses the common conviction that States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction,
RECOGNIZING the existence of possible adverse effects, in the short and long term, of air pollution including transboundary air pollution,
CONCERNED that a rise in the level of emissions of air pollutants within the region as forecast may increase such adverse effects,
RECOGNIZING the need to study the implications of the long-range transport of air pollutants and the need to seek solutions for the problems identified,
AFFIRMING their willingness to reinforce active international cooperation to develop appropriate national policies and by means of exchange of information, consultation, research and monitoring, to coordinate national action for combating air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution,
HAVE AGREED as follows:


Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention:
a) „air pollution” means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the air resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm living resources and ecosystems and material property and impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment, and „air pollutants” shall be construed accordingly;
b) „long-range transboundary air pollution” means air pollution whose physical origin is situated wholly or in part within the area under the national jurisdiction of one State and which has adverse effects in the area under the jurisdiction of another State at such a distance that it is not generally possible to distinguish the contribution of individual emission sources or groups of sources.

Fundamental principles

Article 2
The Contracting Parties, taking due account of the facts and problems involved, are determined to protect man and his environment against air pollution and shall endeavour to limit and, as far as possible, gradually reduce and prevent air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution.
Article 3
The Contracting Parties, within the framework of the present Convention, shall, by means of exchanges of information, consultation, research and monitoring, develop without undue delay policies and strategies which shall serve as a means of combating the discharge of air pollutants, taking into account efforts already made at national and international level.
Article 4
The Contracting Parties shall exchange information on and review their policies, scientific activities and technical measures aimed at combating, as far as possible, the discharge of air pollutants which may have adverse effects, thereby contributing to the reduction of air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution.
Article 5
Consultations shall be held, upon request, at an early stage between, on the one hand, Contracting Parties which are actually affected by or exposed to a significant risk of long-range transboundary air pollution and, on the other hand, Contracting Parties within which and subject to whose jurisdiction a significant contribution to long-range transboundary air pollution originates, or could originate, in connexion with activities carried on or contemplated therein.

Air-quality management

Article 6

Taking into account Articles 2 to 5, the on-going research, exchange of information and monitoring and the results thereof, the cost and effectiveness of local and other remedies and in order to combat air pollution, in particular that originating from new or rebuilt installations, each Contracting Party undertakes to develop the best policies and strategies including air-quality management systems and, as part of them, control measures compatible with balanced development, in particular by using the best available technology which is economically feasible and low- and non-waste technology.

Research and development

Article 7
The Contracting Parties, as appropriate to their needs, shall initiate and cooperate in the conduct of research into and/or development of:
a) existing and proposed technologies for reducing emissions of sulphur compounds and other major air pollutants, including technical and economic feasibility, and environmental consequences;
b) instrumentation and other techniques for monitoring and measuring emission rates and ambient concentrations of air pollutants;
c) improved models for a better understanding of the transmission of long-range transboundary air pollutants;
d) the effects of sulphur compounds and other major air pollutants on human health and the environment, including agriculture, forestry, materials, aquatic and other natural ecosystems and visibility, with a view to establishing a scientific basis for dose/effect relationships designed to protect the environment;
e) the economic, social and environmental assessment of alternative measures for attaining environmental objectives, including the reduction of long-range transboundary air pollution;
f) education and training programmes related to the environmental aspects of pollution by sulphur compounds and other major air pollutants.

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