Black Sea NGO Network
History of the Organization

Photo: © C.Laycock

Black Sea NGO Network (BSNN) came into existence in 1998 as a result of the development of the NGO community in the countries surrounding the Black Sea. Its predecessor was the International Black Sea NGO Forum. The first regional meeting of the network was held in Varna in September 1998. National Meetings of the Black Sea related NGOs were held later in each of the countries in theautumn of 1998 to carry the process further. In 1999 the BSNN general assembly took place and the association was formally registered in the Varna Court of Law. The BSNN board consists of six persons, one from each of the Black Sea countries. Dr Ivan Banchev, the Bulgarian representative, was the first Chairman of the Board and the GA. In 2002 Prof. Dan Manoleli of Romania was elected chairman of the BSNN Board and GA. The BSNN has 62 registered members in the six littoral states and many associates. In recognition of its role as an institution of civil society in the region the BSNN was granted the status of permanent observer at the Black Sea Commission (BSC) at its seventh regular meeting in Istanbul May 29 — 31, 2001. BSNN maintains close contacts with the Danube Environmental Forum (DEF).

The BSNN has been implementing activities on regional and EU environmental policies, Black Sea issues, international water management issues, international and EU legislation, Black Sea and international biodiversity protection, coastal zone management, development of capacity for lobbying and advocacy, development of tools for partnership and cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises, increasing of expert capacity in the sphere of international environmental management and international water management, national legislation and harmonization with EU policies and practices.