International Commission for the Protection of the Odra River against Pollution

International Commission for the Protection of the Odra River against Pollution (ICPO) deals with issues related to rivers and lakes whose catchment areas fall within the territories of more than one country. The ICPO was established on the basis of a Convention signed on 11 April 1996 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. The headquarters of ICPO secretariat is in Wrocław.

The main objectives of ICPO are:

  • to prevent the pollution of the Oder and the Baltic Sea by contaminants and to achieve a sustained reduction in the pollution thereof;
  • to achieve the most natural aquatic and littoral ecosystems possible with the corresponding species diversity;
  • 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;
  • to provide for precautions against the risk of flood damage and achieve a sustained reduction thereof;
  • to coordinate implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Oder river basin.

Representative of the Inspection for Environmental Protection is actively involved in work of the “Accidental pollution” working group (G3). The scope of the group’s activities includes:

  • regular updating the International Warning and Alert Plan as well as organising its checks and exercises;
  • completion of the International Contingency Plan, its regular updating as well as organising its checks and exercises;
  • complementing and regular updating the list of potential sources of accidental pollutions (containing contaminated sites and/or old landfills in the potential floodplain);
  • preparing guidelines for preventive measures in order to minimize the risk and influence of unforeseen water pollution taking into account existing national projects;
  • initiating experience exchange between G3 ICPO and similar working groups of other commissions, among others, through organising seminars, emergency exercises and materials exchange;
  • preparing the invitation for the working group to participate in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in terms of the unforeseen pollution in the Oder river basin.

For more details on the ICPO activity see: www.mkoo.pl.

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