On 30 October, the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry decided to prohibit the catch of cod from ships registered under the Finnish flag in the central basin of the Baltic Sea (ICES-partial areas 22-32). The decision became effective on 6 November 1996 and was to be applied to the end of the year.
The IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety entered into force for Finland on 24 October.
In February, the Nordic Council of Minsters adopted the Nordic Environmental Strategy for 1996-2000. Member states undertook to protect biological diversity by preserving endangered species, natural habitats and geological formations. They also guarantee access of citizens to nature in the vicinity of urban areas and to shores along the sea and lakes.
A Finnish-Estonian Treaty on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in the Case of Accidents entered into force on 31 July. The aim of the Treaty is to facilitate cooperation in order to prevent or limit damage to persons, property, or the environment when accidents occur. The Treaty contains provisions on information exchange, assistance, coordination of rescue operations, compensation for expenses, and liability. Finally, a Finnish-Russian Treaty on Cooperation for the Prevention of Accidents and the Mitigation of their Effects, which contains similar provisions, entered into force on 7 August.
In 1996, one of the most controversial issues on Norway's environmental agenda was greenhouse gas emissions. At the second Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, 8-19 July, Norway stressed the need for substantial reductions in the global emissions of greenhouse gases and called for stronger commitments under the Convention. Since Norway accounts for relatively modest emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) per capita, further reduction costs would be correspond