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The Control of Eutrophication of Waters[+]

(Recommendation adopted on 14th November, 1974)



Having regard to Article 5b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14th December, 1960;

Having regard to Recommendation 51 of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in relation to the protection of the quality of water resources, which are a primary need for social and economic development;

Having regard to the Recommendation of the Council of 26th May, 1972, on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies (C(72)128);

Considering the importance of the accelerated degradation of the water environment due to the phenomenon of eutrophication resulting from man's activity;

Considering that the principal causes and mechanisms of eutrophication resulting from man's activity are now better understood and known to follow from the excessive input to surface waters of nutrient substances, such as phosphorous and nitrogen compounds;

Considering that States have a responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States;

Considering the need for continued co-operation on the monitoring of eutrophication and on exchange of experience in respect of control techniques;

Considering that the OECD Reports on Eutrophication Control:

- represent a valuable record of the acquired experience in Member countries in regard to technical possibilities for control of eutrophication, and a consensus on alternative strategies for control;

- show that, although there is no unique policy for eutrophication control, a number of steps can be taken. These steps directed at the control of nutrient substances include: treatment of municipal sewage and industrial effluents including nutrient removal; decreasing the contribution from various agricultural activities; and, where appropriate, control at source by product modification, as in the case of the replacement of phosphates in detergents.

Further noting the desirability, in certain circumstances, of harmonizing policies;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I. Recommends that Governments of Member countries take measures to reduce to the extent required the pollution of surface waters resulting in eutrophication, with particular reference to the problem arising

Eutrophication Control.

II. Invites the Governments of Member countries to inform the Organisation, within a year, on the measures taken pursuant to this Recommendation.

III. Instructs the Environment Committee to follow the implementation of this Recommendation and to report thereon to the Council.


+ This is a part of the International Environmental Agreements Compendium, compiled 1995 by the Pollution Prevention and Pesticide Management Branch, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, British Columbia, Canada.