A Mott MacDonald-led consortium delivered on the two-year project to support the development of common security management, maritime safety and ship pollution prevention for the Black and Caspian Seas.
The award-winning €3.4M project has improved the adoption of international legislative frameworks and conventions for maritime transport, security and environmental protection in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea countries. Covering areas as diverse as ship construction and licensing, port and harbour navigation and disposal of substances at sea, the objectives reflected the riparian states’ commitment to converge domestic environmental legislation with that of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive.
Progress has been especially poignant for project director Wim Verheugt, who worked as an environmentalist in the Black Sea region during the 1990s, leading an action plan to protect numbers of rare pelicans and cormorants.
“Back then, the seas were poisoned by toxic pollution and untreated sewage. It had reached a tipping point, and the riparian states recognised the need for change. This contract was of strategic importance.
“It suited Mott MacDonald brilliantly, with its need for trans-boundary environmental management and cross-sector expertise, especially maritime and transport consultancy."
“The greatest challenge was balancing local and regional needs. Getting everybody to pull in the same direction required a lot of face-to-face dialogue. We trained local experts who kept momentum building after our role ended. It’s humbling to play a part in something that makes such a noticeable difference to communities and wildlife.”