Organizational Structure

The following bodies are provided for in the Agreement to promote its implementation:


The Meeting of the Parties (MOP):

The MOP is the decision-making body of ACCOBAMS. It meets triennially (unless it decides otherwise) to review progress made and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the Agreement and to lay down the priorities for the next triennium. Non-Party Range States and regional economic organisations bordering on the Agreement area, as well as a number of other relevant Organisations and Partners are entitled to send observers to the MOP; other bodies qualified in cetacean conservation and management may apply for observer status.


The Bureau (BU):

The MOP elects a Bureau consisting of one Chairperson and four Vice‐Chairpersons of the Meeting of the Parties.
The Bureau:
a) provides general policy guidance and operational and financial direction to the Agreement Secretariat and the subregional Co-ordination Units concerning the implementation and promotion of the Agreement;
b) carries out, between sessions of the Meeting of the Parties, such interim activities on its behalf as may be necessary or assigned to it by the Meeting of the Parties; and
c) represents the Parties vis-à-vis the Government of the Host Country of the Agreement Secretariat and the Meeting of the Parties, the Depositary and other international Organizations on matters relating to the Agreement and its Secretariat.

The Bureau meets at least twice between two Meetings of the Parties. One of these meetings shall be held six months before each Meeting of Parties, and will act as a preparatory Meeting for the Meeting of Parties.

The Chairperson of the Scientific Committee is invited to participate as an observer in the meetings of the Bureau.

The Sixth Meeting of the Parties approved the composition of the Bureau as follows for the 2017-2019 triennium:

  • Chairperson: M. Xavier STICKER (France)
  • Vice-Chairperson: Ms. Rahima BERKAT (Algeria)
  • Vice-Chairperson: Ms. Klodiana MARIKA (Albania)
  • Vice-Chairperson: M. Savvas MICHAELIDES (Cyprus)
  • Vice-Chairperson: M. Volodymyr DOMASHLINETS (Ukraine)


The Scientific Committee (SC):

The Scientific Committee provides scientific advice and information to the Meeting of the Parties or to the Parties through the Permanent Secretariat.
The Scientific Committee:
a) provides advice to the Meeting of the Parties on scientific and technical matters having a bearing on the implementation of the Agreement, and to individual Parties between sessions, as appropriate, through the Co‐ordination unit of the sub‐region concerned;
b) advises on the guidelines as provided for in Article IV, paragraph 3, assess the reviews prepared in accordance with Annex 2 to this Agreement and formulate recommendations to the Meeting of the Parties relating to their development, contents and implementation;
c) conducts scientific assessments of the conservation status of cetacean populations;
d) advises on the development and co‐ordination of international research and monitoring programmes, and make recommendations to the Meeting of the Parties concerning further research to be carried out;
e) facilitates the exchange of scientific information and of conservation techniques;
f) prepares for each session of the Meeting of the Parties a report of its activities which shall be submitted to the Agreement secretariat not less than one hundred and twenty days before the session of the Meeting of the Parties and circulated forthwith by the Agreement secretariat to all Parties;
g) renders timely advice on the exceptions of which it has been informed pursuant to Article II, paragraph 2; and
h) carries out, as may be necessary, other tasks referred to it by the Meeting of the Parties.

The Scientific Committee meets at least twice between two Meetings of the Parties.


The Sub-Regional Coordination Units (SRCU):

The functions of the sub‐regional coordination units are:
a) to facilitate implementation in the respective sub‐regions of the activities provided for in Annex 2 to this Agreement, in accordance with instructions of the Meeting of the Parties;
b) to collect and evaluate information that will further the objectives and implementation of the Agreement and provide for appropriate dissemination of such information; and
c) to service meetings of the Scientific Committee and to prepare a report for communication to the Meeting of the Parties through the Agreement secretariat.

Each coordination unit, in consultation with the Scientific Committee and the Permanent Secretariat, should facilitate the preparation of a series of international reviews or publications, to be updated regularly, including:
a) reports on the status and trends of populations, as well as gaps in scientific knowledge;
b) a sub‐regional directory of important areas for cetaceans; and
c) a sub‐regional directory of national authorities, research and rescue centres, scientists and non‐governmental organizations concerned with cetaceans.

For this purpose, during the First Meeting of the Parties, the UNEP MAP Regional Activities Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) and the Black Sea Commission were designated respectively for the Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area and for the Black Sea.