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"Hot spot" means a limited and definable local land area, stretch of surface water or specific aquifer that is subject to excessive pollution and necessitates priority attention in order to prevent or reduce the actual or potential adverse impacts on human health, ecosystems or natural resources and amenities of economic importance (Revised LBS Protocol to the Bucharest Convention, 2009).

For years, keeping the Black Sea environment healthy with all its ecosystem goods and services functioning at a time when economic recovery and further development are also being pursued has been considered to be a priority challenge for all Black Sea coastal states. Yet, most of the environmental problems in the Black Sea have not been effectively addressed.

Moreover, being of transboundary character, the Black Sea environmental problems cannot be efficiently managed by individual states. Recognising the need for cooperation, harmonisation of approaches to environmental protection management and transparency, the partners of the HBS Project deal with one of the most sensitive issues in the Black Sea region – Hot Spots.

The successful implementation of the HBS Project, through the strong partnership of highly professional organizations from five Black Sea coastal states, contributes to enhancing the regional cooperation in environmental protection of the Black Sea, and directly adds to measures aimed at improvement of the Black Sea status in a sustainable manner.


This project is briefly named HBS (Hot Black Sea) or HotSpots Project. It is an integrated type of Joint Action. Some of the activities are similarly implemented by all project partners in their countries. The main focus of the HBS Project is on harmonization of policies and development of tools for decision-makers in the field of Black Sea protection against pollution from land-based sources. The Project Tools are useful for all Black Sea coastal states. They could be implemented at national and regional level.

The Project activities include six work packages:

  • Harmonization of Hot Spots policies
  • Identification, evaluation and prioritisation of hot spots
  • Hot Spots Data Base in support of decision-making and investment planning
  • Increasing sector expertise
  • Dissemination of Knowledge and Best Practices, Public Awareness and Visibility
  • Management and coordination of the Action



Target groups of the HotSpots project

The project results are beneficial to:

  • Environmental data/information providers
  • Actors involved in pressures (compliance) and chemical/biological monitoring of the Black Sea coastal waters
  • National, regional and local public authorities involved in environmental policy development, decision making and management
  • National authorities and international organizations (such as Black Sea Commission, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, UNDP, UNEP, EU DG Environment, EEA, etc.) involved in environmental issues of the Black Sea
  • Industry causing pollution in the Black Sea
  • Public interest groups targeting on sustainable Black Sea ecosystem
  • Educational organizations like universities and schools
  • General public

Useful Links

The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution

Protocol on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Black Sea from Land-Based Sources and Activities...

Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid

Directorate–General (DG) responsible for designing EU development policies and delivering aid through programmes and projects across the world...

The Black Sea Cross Border Cooperation Program

The Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 2007-2013 (hereafter Black Sea JOP) is a programme under the European Neighborhood & Partnership...

ICPDR - International Commission on the Protection of the Danube River

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an International Organisation consisting of 14 cooperating states...

Danube Black Sea Task Force (DABLAS)

The DABLAS (Danube - Black Sea) Task Force is a successful example of providing a platform between International Funding Institutions...