G.Info:State of the Environment Georgia - The Black Sea
The Need for International Action
The resources of Black Sea - and its problems - are shared by six coastal countries, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Management of the Black Sea's shared resources is the responsibility of these countries but part of the responsibility for controlling aquatic and airborne pollution should also be shared amongst the other eleven countries which have a major part of their territory in the Black Sea basin. Protection of the Black Sea cannot be achieved on a unilateral basis. Almost every use of the sea and coastal areas has the potential for affecting the well-being of neighbouring countries. Even pollution restricted to the vicinity of an industrial plant may affect the economic development of another country by killing juvenile fish which would have otherwise migrated to its coastal seas. On the other hand, countries may wish to overexploit their part of a migrating resource in order to deny access (and advantage) to the neighbours. Joint management and protection of shared marine living resources is one of the few available options to countries bordering the Black Sea. In this manner, a better sense of ownership of the Sea's resources can be attained and "owners" tend to protect their property more than those enjoying a free service. There is a strong need for harmonising legal and policy objectives and for developing common strategies for investment in the control of pollution. Use of the "commons" space must be carefully regulated so that one "user" does not deprive another of his or her rights. Furthermore, only concerted international action can hope to do anything to protect the biological diversity of the Black Sea.