The International Commission on the Protection of the Oder against Pollution (ICPO) is one of thirteen international commissions for the protection of rivers, lakes and seas whose catchment areas fall within the territories of more than one country. The ICPO was established on the basis of a Convention signed by the Governments of the Republic of Poland, the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany and by the European Community. The Convention entered into force, following its ratification, on 26 April 1999. Due to the fact that the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic joint the European Union on 1 May 2004, in accordance with the decision of the Council from 2 December 2005, the European Community is no longer the Contracting Party with regard to the International Commission on the Protection of the Oder against Pollution, the Convention on the ICPO required appropriate changes.
The objectives of the ICPO are:
1. to prevent the pollution of the Oder and the Baltic Sea by contaminants and to achieve a reduction in the pollution thereof;
2. to achieve the most natural aquatic and littoral ecosystems possible with the corresponding species diversity;
3. to permit utilisation of the Oder, in particular the production of drinking water from bank filtrate and the use of its water and sediments in agriculture;
4. to provide for precautions against the risk of flood damage and achieve a sustained reduction thereof; and
5. to coordinate implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Oder river basin.
ICPO decisions are adopted at meetings of the Commission, in which the delegations of all the Contracting Parties take part.
The work of the ICPO is conducted in its working parties, which are composed of the experts appointed by each delegation. For the purpose of achieving specific objectives, the working parties draw up action programmes which are submitted to the Contracting Parties as proposals and recommendations. The ICPO is financed by the contributions paid by three Contracting Parties and by donations, grants and interest, as well as by funds from other sources. The annual statement of accounts for a given year shall be audited by three auditors who are proposed by the particular Delegations and nominated by the Commission for a term of three years..
The structure of the ICPO is shown in the organisation chart.