The Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF Project) is a partnership between the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, to enhance the capacity of countries to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills. A key innovative feature is the emphasis on the promotion of public/private partnerships to ensure an effective oil spill response making use of existing industry expertise and resources.
The mission is to strengthen the national oil spill response capability in 22 West, Central and Southern African countries through the establishment of a local partnership between the oil industry and the authorities in charge of oil spill preparedness and response at national level. The scope is to organize workshops, training courses, seminars and deployment exercises with the national authorities in charge of oil spill response, in partnership with local oil industry business units.
This program is jointly funded by the IMO and nine Oil Companies members (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI, ExxonMobil, Marathon, PERENCO, Shell and TOTAL) through IPIECA.
The GI WACAF project is based on an effective management system comprising of six goals of preparedness and key performance indicators to enhance the capacity of countries to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills. These goals cover the requirements of the OPRC 90 Convention:
- Goal 1 - Legislation: Promote the ratification of the relevant international Conventions;
- Goal 2 - Contingency plan: Develop National Contingency Plans for all the countries of the region;
- Goal 3 - Designation of authority: Obtain clarity on roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders;
- Goal 4 - Regional agreements: Promote the exchange of information and the provision of mutual assistance for oil spill incidents;
- Goal 5 - Training: Ensure that training and exercises are delivered in the participating countries on a regular basis; and
- Goal 6 - National capabilities: Support participating countries in developing their own national response system.