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11/05/2012 Today, the expert group for the North Sea and Skagerrak is submitting six assessments and one final report on the environmental condition of the sea area and the area’s significance for society and value creation.
“This work is important because this is the first time an overall assessment of the environmental condition in this sea area has been done,” says Arne Holhjem, director of environment and technology in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
The NPD is part of the expert group, with representatives from 14 agencies and institutes. The Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) is heading the expert group.
The Government has indicated that it will submit a comprehensive management plan for the North Sea and Skagerrak in 2013. The six assessments the expert group is now submitting will form the technical basis for the Government’s work on the comprehensive management plan.
Comprehensive management plans have previously been adopted for the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
The North Sea and Skagerrak are more complicated than the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The area is exposed to more external environmental impacts, and it is surrounded by highly industrialised countries on three sides,” says Holhjem.
The NPD has contributed to the final report being presented today. In addition, the agency has been responsible for the sector report for petroleum activities. The NPD is also a member of two other multidisciplinary expert groups – the risk group, which reports to the Ministry of the Environment, and the monitoring group, which reports to the Norwegian Coastal Administration. These groups work on strengthening the work on risk assessments and contributing to improved understanding of the development in all sea areas as regards acute pollution, as well as contributing to handle this risk in the best possible manner, both for individual sectors and overall.