With the rise in transport by sea of chemicals and gases, in bulk and containerized, adequate preparedness for response to potential spill incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) is increasingly important.
The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is hosting a regional workshop on response to such incidents, in Valletta, Malta (20-21 June).
Regional cooperation on oil and HNS spill response and contingency planning is an efficient and cost-effective way of preparing for possible spills – through the sharing of information, knowledge and/or response equipment. A recent example of cooperation in this field was an agreement signed between Cyprus
, Greece and Israel following support from REMPEC.
IMO’s Roel Hoenders provided an overview of International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s recent achievements in marine environment protection, as well the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), which has 112 contracting States. He also emphasised the importance of ratifying the OPRC-HNS Protocol – which so far has only 39 Parties.
Numerous agencies and organizations are represented at the workshop, including the European Commission, EMSA, the HELCOM and Bonn Agreement Secretariats as well as ITOPF, IOPC Funds, CEDRE, CETMAR and Transport Canada