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Responding to marine pollution incidents


Responding to marine pollution incidents is a highly technical business, requiring specialized knowledge and expertise, as well as dedicated equipment and tools that are fit for purpose. The OPRC 1990 and OPRC-HNS Protocol 2000 collectively set out the international legal framework and requirements for oil and HNS pollution preparedness and response, but more practical technical guidance is needed for those tasked with building robust national response systems for pollution response.

Taking into account these requirements and recognizing that there are varying levels of knowledge and capacity that exists amongst state parties to the Convention and Protocol, IMO has developed a wide array of tools and practical guidance to assist countries in developing response capacity.
This guidance is developed through the Organization’s OPRC-HNS Technical Group, a subsidiary body of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, one of IMO’s main technical bodies. This Group brings together marine pollution response experts from Member States and Observing Organizations worldwide to share experiences, lessons learned and identify best practices and new technologies and advancements in preparing for and responding to oil and HNS incidents at sea.
Over the past ten years, this Group has developed an array of resources to assist countries in all facets of pollution preparedness and response. This has included the development of model training courses, manuals and guidance documents, IMO circulars and other relevant resources and materials.
These resources are also routinely used in the implementation of activities delivered through the Organization’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. States may also request assistance from IMO, through the ITCP, to build pollution response capacity and in implementing the provisions of the OPRC 90 and OPRC-HNS Protocol.
In addition, other relevant tools and references and best practices developed by governments, industry, and recognized institutions from around the world have been compiled to further assist countries in developing response capacity and implementing the provisions of the OPRC Convention and OPRC-HNS Protocol. This inventory is periodically reviewed and updated, to ensure the most current available information pollution preparedness and response topics and issues.
The compiled resources have been organized as follows:

PPR Information Resources

An inventory of information resources on the various aspects of oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response issues.

Oil Spill Organizations and Resource Providers

Information on oil spill response organizations, governmental agencies, scientific organizations and equipment providers with knowledge and expertise on oil pollution preparedness and response issues.

HNS Centres of Expertise

Organizations and/or centres dealing with preparedness and response issues related to HNS.



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