Information about ICPO

History

 

 

- 1990 -

 

The Commission dates back to 1990. On 2 - 3 September of that year in Ronneby (Sweden), the Declaration of the Baltic Sea is adopted on the initiative of the Prime Minister of the Polish Republic Tadeusz Mazowiecki. The Republic of Poland takes measures to bring into existence the International Commission on the Protection of the Oder against Pollution, which just as the Commission of the Rhine, is to have a contribution in purification of the Oder and its tributaries by coordinating actions of three countries: Poland, Germany and Czech Republic with the participation of European Union. This initiative is supposed to be a significant institutional element of the Baltic Protection program and is adopted by the above-mentioned countries two years later in 1992.

 

- 1991 -

 

The Minister of the Environment Protection, Maciej Władysław Nowicki, initiates the first meeting of experts on 29 - 30 January 1991 to deal with the creation of ICPO in Wrocław.

 

- 1991-1993 -

 

The text of the joint Convention is settled during nine consecutive negotiation rounds that are organized at the turn of the year.

 

- 1995 -

 

Another meeting of experts is held on 6 - 9 November 1995 in Wrocław. During the meeting, the ICPO Convention is ultimately formulated and unified in three language versions: Polish, Czech and German.

 

- 1996 -

 

The signing of the ICPO Convention along with a Declaration of the Convention’s cosignatories, which enables the ICPO to function as a Interim Commission, takes place on 11-12 April 1996 during the first meeting of the Interim International Commission for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution. During the course of the meeting, Mr. Leszek Bagiński is appointed to a post of the Interim ICPO Chairman and the first three Working Groups are instituted:
First Working Group responsible for the program of action - management assigned to the Republic of Poland;
Second Working Group responsible for exceptional pollution events – management assigned to the Czech Republic;
Third Working Group responsible for legal aspects and administration – management assigned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The headquarters of the Secretariat is located in Wrocław on 34 Norwida Street. On 27 June 1996 Alfred Dubicki is appointed to a post of the first director of the Secretariat of the ICPO.

 

- 1997 -

 

After the flood in the Oder catchment area, the ICPO organizes an extraordinary meeting on 1 – 2 September. Consequently, Fourth Working Group “Flood” is appointed and asked to compile a joint report “The flood in July 1997 in the Oder catchment area”. The work lasts nearly two years and is eventually published in three language versions in 1999. On 4 – 5 November 1997 the ICPO is a co-organizer of the International Commission “Odra – chances and challenges in the light of European experience”.

 

- 1999 -

 

“Ecology” Working Group is appointed during the Third Meeting of the Interim ICPO held on 15 – 16 March. Radosław Gawlik is appointed to a post of the new Commission Chairman. The ICPO Convention enters into force on 28 April 1999 after the ratification processes is finalized in all the countries that make up the Parties of the ICPO Convention.
It is resolved on 22 – 23 July 1999 that the first term of the Commission Chairmanship during the period between 28.04.1999 to 31.12.2001 shall be given to the Polish party. All previously organized working groups officially begin their activities on 1 September 1999. First Conference of the Environment Protection Ministers on the ICPO is held in Wrocław on 2 – 3 December 1999. The participants of the conference adopt the Commission’s work: ‘Program of rapid measures for the protection of the Oder against pollution 1997 – 2002” and ‘Joint strategy and rules for flood prevention in the Oder catchment area’, which also appear as the ICPO publications.

 

- 2000 -

 

On 1 February 2000 the ICPO Secretariat receives a status of a permanent Secretariat. Hartmut Müller becomes the new director of the Secretariat. ICPO new logo, a recognizable symbol of the Commission, is approved on 11 April 2000. The Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Poland appoints Janusz Zaleski to a post of the Commission Chairman.

 

- 2001 -

 

New year brings further changes. On 5 – 6 March 2001 Leopold Zubek is nominated to a post of the new Director of the Secretariat. The Sixth Working Group responsible for the coordination of Water Framework Directive implementation is appointed on the above-mentioned dates. Towards the end of the year, on 13 November 2001, the Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic nominates Jaroslav Kinkor to a post of the ICPO Chairman.

 

- 2002 -

 

The official takeover of the Commission Chairmanship by the Czech delegation for the period of 2002 – 2005 takes place on 21 January 2002. On 8 May 2002 the ICPO obtains a common consent of all the Convention Parties to act as a coordinator in the process of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive within the boundaries of the international Oder catchment area. Workshop on the coordination is organized in Wrocław on 2 – 3 September 2002. The workshop becomes a starting point for the organizational changes within the ICPO.
The Convention of the ICPO along with the rules of granting ICPO observer status for international and national organizations are resolved in written procedures on 5 November 2002. Consequently, on 12 – 13 December 2002 the observer status is granted to the WWF and Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland organizations.

 

- 2003 -

 

On 4 – 5 December 2003 the Commission resolves the first draft of the 2004 Report as well as the structure of the 2005 Report. Moreover, mandates for new working groups, sub-groups and ad hoc groups are resolved. Chairmen and their deputies are appointed in the groups of the new ICPO structure which are to be effective until 1 February 2003.

 

- 2004 -

 

As of 1 May 2004, Poland and Czech Republic become the EU members, thus the entire Oder catchment area finds itself entirely within the boundaries of the European Community.
The year is also the first reference year in the timetable for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. In June 2004 the ICPO finishes and submits the 2004 Report on The Trans-boundary Oder Catchment Area to the Convention Parties. Similar reports are to be prepared and submitted to the European Commission by the EU states for all trans-boundary catchment areas.

 

- 2005 -

 

On 13 – 14 January 2005 Czech Republic hands over the Chairmanship of the Commission to the Federal Republic of Germany. Thomas Stratenwerth becomes the new ICPO Chairman. This, however, is not the only important event of the year. In March 2005 the ICPO finalizes the 2005 Report and submits it to the Convention Parties. The report, among other things, includes the characteristics of the Oder catchment area. On 11 May 2005 the proposal for a new ICPO structure is discussed, tasks for particular groups are assigned, group members appointed and decision-making procedures defined. On 15 – 16 December 2005 the Commission approves mandates for all the groups and sub-working groups of the new ICPO organizational structure.
At the beginning of December 2005 the ICPO receives a termination notice of the ICPO Convention from the European Commission party – after Poland and the Czech Republic joint the European Union the entire Oder catchment area fell within the boundaries of the European Community, therefore the UE role as the party in the Convention of the International Commission for the Protection of Oder against Pollution became unjustified. Consequently, the wording of the Convention will have to changed. Due to the decision of the Council of the European Union, towards the end of 2006, the Commission orders the chairmen to draft the “Amendment to the Convention on the International Commission for the Oder Protection”.

 

- 2006 -

 

Two changes occur in the ICPO Secretariat. On 1 May 2006 Piotr Barański becomes the new director of the Secretariat. Whereas on 20 June 2006, a contract for a new ICPO Secretariat office location is signed - 1 Maria Curie-Skłodowska St. in Wrocław.

 

- 2007 -

 

In March 2007 the ICPO, in accordance with the requirements of the European Commission, submits to the Convention Parties the 2007 Report, which pertains to the monitoring of waters within the international boundaries of the Oder catchment area. Therefore, on 23 October 2007, a successive European Union directive pertaining to the flood prevention is brought into effect. Simultaneously, in accordance with the ICOP decision, the coordination of the implementation is given to the ‘Flood’ Group G2.

On 6 – 7 November 2007 the ICOP, with co-financing of the Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Wrocław, organizes in Wrocław an international conference entitled ‘THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE IN THE ODER CATCHMENT AREA’. The aim of the conference is to exchange experience and present progress in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the home countries of the ICPO members.

On 11 December 2007 the commission approves all three language versions of the “Amendment to the Convention on the International Commission for the Oder Protection” and obligates all delegations to organize an official document signing and to begin work on the ratification of the document by the national governments of the ICOP members.
On the same day in the General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Wrocław, an official handover of the chairmanship for the term of three years takes place between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland. Mr. Mariusz Gajda becomes the new Chairman.

 

- 2008 -

 

On 9 January 2008 Janusz Zaleski, in accordance with the decisions of the Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Poland, is appointed for the second time to a post of the ICPO Chairman.

One month later, on 7 – 8 February 2008 tenth jubilee meeting of Financial Auditors takes place, during which the audit of the ICPO expenses is finalized with a positive result. The ICPO expense audit is conducted by financial auditors appointed by the Ministers of the Environment of: Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. On the Polish party, the post has been held for 10 years by Mr. Andrzej Żyłajtys, Chairman Deputy of the Voivodeship Fund for the Environmental Protection and Water Management. On the Czech Republic party: Marta Jelinková, the Head of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. On the German party: Ina Lück, the Official Advisor of The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Bonn. During the conducted evaluation of the annual settlement of accounts of the ICPO budget the auditors find no discrepancies in the accounting books and confirm fully economical use of the Commission’s financial means for the year 2007.

The official signing of the “Amendment to the Convention on the International Commission for the Oder Protection” takes place during the 13th Heads of Delegation Meeting on 25 June 2008 in the Secretariat headquarters. The Convention is signed by Andrzej Sadurski of Polish delegation and Heide Jekel along with Michael Morgenstern of German delegation in the presence of Breeda Foody, the Convention Depository representing the European Commission.

On behalf of the Czech delegation, the document is signed by Mr. Karel Bláha on 27 November 2008 in Brussels in the presence of Ida Jacobsen as the Convention Depository.
The above becomes yet another important event in more than ten-year long history of the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution.

 

- 2009 -

 

On 1 May 2009 the contract with Mr. Barański as a director of the Secretariat was extended till 1 May 2012.

In the end of the year the ICPO-Secretary starts with the announcement „The river in the eye of a child” at first in Poland. Especially there were chosen primary schools situated in the Odra River Basin. The children were encouraged to paint pictures, as they see the river. The best 12 pictures were selected and then published in the form of a calendar. In the next years the announcement also starts in the Czech Republic and in Germany.

 

- 2010 -

 

On 13 January 2010 Mr. Dvořák has taken over the function of the czech Head of Delegation in the ICPO instead of Ms. Jáglová.

In March the ICPO finalizes, in accordance with the requirements of the European Commission, the River Basin Management Plan (Report 2009) and submits it to the Convention Parties.

On 7 December 2010 in the ICPO-Secretary in Wroclaw, an official handover of the chairmanship for the next three years takes place between the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr. Pavel Punčochář becomes the new ICPO Chairman from 1 January 2011 till 31 December 2013.

 

- 2011 -

 

The Republic of Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany having completed the ratification of the „Amendment to the Convention on the International Commission for the Protection of the Odra River“ and this Amending Agreement entered into force on 14 January 2011.

On 22–23 June 2011 the ICPO organizes in Wrocław a second international conference entitled: „Future challenges for flood risk management and sustainable water mana- gement in the Odra River Basin”.

On 14 February 2011 Mr. Wi¶niewski has taken over the function of the polish Head of Delegation in the ICPO instead of Ms. Dembowska.

 


Last update: 2008.11.28