General Directorate of Environmental Management Chemicals Management Department
General Directorate of Environmental Management Chemicals Management Department
CRLTAP & POPs Protocol

 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution

The Convention on Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) entered in force in 1983 and joined by Turkey as a State Party, who ratified it by passing an adopting Cabinet Decree that was published on the Official Gazette of March 23rd 1983 No: 17796. Moreover, the “The Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the ... Air Pollutants in Europe” also constitutes an essential part of the CRLTAP Convention implemented and enforced by UNECE and Turkey has signed the EMEP Financing Protocol, the preamble of which is to ensure long term funding of EMEP activities. However, our Country has not signed or become a party to any of the technical protocols of the Convention, which matter to the Convention, till the present day, with the exception of the EMEP Financing Protocol.

Reviews made at meetings and platforms held with broad participation have invariably revealed that our country failed to realise the requisite investments on environment due to lack of adequate technical infrastructure and the economic bottleneck she has been experiencing for a while by now, although all protocols were supported in for human and environmental health aspects. Besides, the lack of an emissions inventory capable of demonstrating the current situation in our country with high accuracy with regard to the emissions mentioned in those protocols, along with the inability to make comparisons with the limit values prescribed therein, formed another concern unveiled.


The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution was the first international legally binding instrument to deal with problems of air pollution on a broad regional basis. It was signed in 1979 and entered into force in 1983. It has since been extended by eight specific protocols. The Convention is one of the central means for protecting our environment. It has, over the years, served as a bridge between different political systems and as a factor of stability in years of political change. It has substantially contributed to the development of international environmental law and has created the essential framework for controlling and reducing the damage to human health and the environment caused by transboundary air pollution. It is a successful example of what can be achieved through intergovernmental cooperation.

The history of the Convention can be traced back to the 1960s, when scientists demonstrated the interrelationship between sulphur emissions in continental Europe and the acidification of Scandinavian lakes. The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm signalled the start for active international cooperation to combat acidification. Between 1972 and 1977 several studies confirmed the hypothesis that air pollutants could travel several thousands of kilometres before deposition and damage occurred. This also implied that cooperation at the international level was necessary to solve problems such as acidification.

In response to these acute problems, a High-level Meeting within the Framework of UNECE on the Protection of the Environment was held at ministerial level in November 1979 in Geneva. It resulted in the signature of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution by 34 Governments and the European Community (EC). Besides laying down the general principles of international cooperation for air pollution abatement, the Convention sets up an institutional framework bringing together research and policy.

The Convention has been extended by eight protocols:


Entry into force

The 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone and its 2012 amended version

17 May 2005

The 1998 Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and its 2009 amended version

23 October 2003

The 1998 Protocol on Heavy Metals and its 2012 amended version

29 December 2003

The 1994 Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions

5 August 1998

The 1991 Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes

29 September 1997

The 1988 Protocol concerning the Control of Nitrogen Oxides or their Transboundary Fluxes

14 February 1991

The 1985 Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes by at least 30 per cent 

2 September 1987

The 1984 Protocol on Long-term Financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP)

28 January 1988


Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution

POPs Protocol