IMO and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues are working together to develop global oil spill preparedness and response capacity, under the Global Initiative (GI), an umbrella programme where various activities are organized under the supervision of IMO and IPIECA to promote effective oil spill contingency planning and regional cooperation on oil spill preparedness and response.
The Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF Project) is a partnership between IMO and IPIECA 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.
The GI South East Asia (GI SEA), is a regional project under the GI programme aiming at improving the regional capability in Southeast Asia by assisting in the development of regional, sub-regional and national capacities in oil spill preparedness and response through industry and government cooperation.
The GI SEA’s mission focuses on the following:
- Promote the ratification of relevant key international conventions (i.e. OPRC, CLC, Fund);
- Assist in the development of national oil spill contingency plans on regional, national and local levels;
- Strengthen existing regional and sub-regional agreements (i.e. ASEAN OSRAP); and
- Encourage adoption of international standards and industry best practices (i.e. OSR JIP Good Practice Guides).
The GI SEA objectives are based on strengthening six specific elements of preparedness. These elements address the requirement to achieve a comprehensive preparedness and response system in accordance with international guidelines.
- Legislation: To promote the ratification of OPRC 90, CLC 92 and Fund 92 Convention. This is also extended to the Bunkers Convention and the Supplementary Fund Protocol.
- Contingency planning: To promote the development of national oil spill contingency plans including crisis management systems, sensitivity maps and risk assessments. In addition to the development of policies for specific response strategies, such as the use of dispersant, waste management, etc.
- Equipment: To highlight the importance of access to appropriate and adequate oil spill response resources corresponding to the level of risk and type of threat. This includes equipment review and assessment to assist with the process of promoting an effective response.
- Training: To ensure that training in oil spill response is undertaken by relevant stakeholders regularly. Also to raise awareness and gain commitment from designated authorities to develop training programmes.
- Exercises: To ensure that exercises are developed and carried out by relevant stakeholders on an annual basis. Also to raise awareness and gain commitment from designated authorities to develop a program for exercising spill response capacity.
- Forces for Implementation: To promote exchange and mutual assistance and cooperation in oil spill response. This element of preparedness is the one that aims to ensure that implementation of all the other elements is enforced and any kinds of obstacles are realistically identified and minimized.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a country with extensive coastline and the potential risk of oil pollution incidents is significant. Thus, the protection of the marine and coastal resources at risk from an oil spill from any sources is an important component of the environmental protection policy of the People’s Republic of China and improving the oil spill preparedness and response system is a high priority for the Chinese government.
In July 2007, IMO, IPIECA and China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) signed a “Statement of Intent” which aims to improve and sustain the capability of the People’s Republic of China to prepare for and respond to oil spill incidents and to enhance the industry-government cooperation through a GI China Project. This programme serves as an umbrella for activities whereby the China MSA (and other competent Chinese administrations), IMO and IPIECA together with other partners would co-operate to:
- Support national and regional implementation of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC Convention), the conventions relating to liability and compensation (CLC 92, Bunker 2001 Convention) and other international conventions related to national and regional oil spill preparedness, response and co-operation;
- Enhance oil spill preparedness and response capability through the mobilization of external assistance and industry support at the national and regional levels;
- Promote the establishment and implementation of appropriate national, regional and international mechanisms or arrangements to ensure that an appropriate level of operational response capability is available to deal with oil spills; and
- Promote the sustainable co-operation between government and industries to increase the People’s Republic of China’s capacity in oil spill preparedness and response.