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Sunday, 06 April 2014 07:58

Bulgarian Ports joined their Forces for Sustainable Management of Ports during two Round Tables

The concept of building a partnership body for joint management of ecological processes in ports was discussed during the Round Tables conducted in Bourgas and Varna under the project “Transnational Enhancement of ECOPORT8 Network -TEN ECOPORT”, in which a partner from the Bulgarian side is Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company /BPI Co./.

Representatives of institutions, port operators, NGOs and scientific organizations discussed the main issues related to expanding the cooperation in managing the process of environmental protection in port areas.

The TEN ECOPORT project focuses on the importance of engaging all stakeholders related to ports to achieve ecological balance through cooperation of efforts. The project seeks enlargement of the existing network established among ECOPORT 8 ports and is foreseen to create a permanent discussion platform organized in two levels:

• one among the Port Authorities, aimed at establishing common rules, implementation mechanisms, best practices exchange;
• one between individual ports and the stakeholders operating within each port area, such as port operators, shipowners, local and regional authorities, institutions, civic associations, scientific organizations and others, so as to coordinate the efforts to protect the environment in port areas and to seek joint solutions.

The concept behind setting up such an advisory body is based on the understanding for the necessity of binding the equal opportunities for access to port services within the EU with the common commitments of the stakeholders to the process of sustainable management and environmental conservation of port area. The prospect goal of the partnership network that is being developed within the project TEN ECOPORT is standardization of environmental control requirements in the port regions.

The Round Tables' discussions recognized the problem that the different legal framework and forms of port governance hinder the opportunities for application of uniform rules. Attention was drawn on the fact that the implementation of environmental policies is associated with increased costs contrary to market principles in which operators work. Therefore, other mechanisms are sought for coordination and progressive unification of criteria, requirements and rules on environmental protection in port areas, and also responsible behaviour from all potential polluters.

During the Round Tables the analyses prepared within the project framework on the critical points of potential pollution of air and water in the ports of Bourgas and Varna were presented, and the possibilities of expanding the scope and detail of the data with cooperation of control authorities, port operators and research teams were discussed.

Particular attention was paid to the need for a comprehensive context analysis evaluating the legal framework relating to the management of port activities at national and European level. Prioritization of this issue emerged as a result of the activities under TEN ECOPORT project in the other six partner countries: Italy, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Romania. In view of the recommendations made, Bulgarian partners in the project TEN ECOPORT will call for a continuation and extension the scope of activities as analysis of the legal framework and implementing uniform standards and approaches, expanding investment opportunities in monitoring equipment on the status of environmental parameters in the ports and more active engagement of scientific organizations and educational institutions, directly related to water transport.

BG-RoundTable 1  BG-RoundTable 4 
BG-RoundTable 2  BG-RoundTable 3


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To work jointly on eco-routes


To provide the decision-makers with the useful tools & policies that will help them plan the future common model for the efficiency of the Trans-European Network corridors