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The Berne Convention

29th April 1963

Thirteen years after its foundation the ICPR was given a status under international law. On 29 April 1963, the envoys of the German, French, Luxembourgian, Dutch and Swiss government signed the „Convention on the international Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution“ in Berne.

They shared “the concern to keep the Rhine clean, to avoid further contamination and to improve its present state and were convinced of the urgency of this task.“

The Berne Convention of 1963 (only in GermanFrench and Dutch) detailed the tasks of the ICPR. In future, it should:

- investigate into the state of the Rhine,

- propose restoration measures,

- prepare international conventions and

- work on mandates given by Ministers' Conferences.

This was a successful step towards making international water protection legally binding. But it did still take some time before the contracting parties managed to agree on specific measures aimed at Rhine protection.