IMO and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social performance, both work to strengthen global oil spill preparedness and response capacity. By doing so, IMO and IPIECA contribute to a better protection of the marine environment. This common endeavour led them to jointly launch the Global Initiative (GI), an umbrella programme hosting several regional projects. These regional projects promote effective oil spill contingency planning and regional cooperation on oil spill preparedness and response, in accordance with the provisions set out in the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 1990).
The Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF Project) was launched in 2006 with a shared desire to improve the level of preparedness and response to oil spills of 22 benefiting countries located alongside the Atlantic coast of Africa. The Project is supported and funded by IMO and oil company members of IPIECA.
To achieve its mission, the Project organizes and delivers technical cooperation activities. One of the objectives of these activities is to communicate good practice in all aspects of spill preparedness and response, drawing on expertise and experience from within governments, industry and other organizations working in this specialized field. Such activities are based on needs identified by the countries, with whom the GI WACAF Project maintains constant communication.
GI WACAF also encourages and support industry and governments to work cooperatively, which notably led to the creation of national and local communication and engagement platforms for preparedness and response stakeholders.
GI WACAF focuses on six areas of work to enhance the capacity of countries to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills, namely:
- The designation of the authorities in charge;
- The ratification and implementation of relevant international conventions;
- The development of a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan;
- The enhancement of transboundary cooperation and development of regional agreements;
- The implementation of training and exercises; and
- The establishment of pre-positioned oil spilt combating equipment stockpiles, commensurate with the risk involved.
With records of over 120 activities delivered between 2006 and 2020, the GI WACAF Project has proved its efficiency and adaptability, and remains ever-committed to the region.
For further details see: https://www.giwacaf.net/en/publications/concept-note-presenting-gi-wacaf
The GI for Southeast Asia Project (GI SEA) was launched in March 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia; currently, it is jointly funded by the IMO and six International Oil Companies with operations in the region, through IPIECA: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Equinor, Shell, TOTAL and Woodside.
GI SEA covers a geographical remit which includes all ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Project aims to improve the regional capability in Southeast Asia, by assisting in the development of national capacities in oil pollution preparedness and response, through government and industry cooperation. This is achieved though the following:
The GI SEA’s mission focuses on the following:
- Promote the ratification of OPRC and key international conventions on compensation from marine oil pollution, i.e., CLC, FUND, BUNKER;
- Assist in the development of oil spill contingency plans on local, national and regional levels;
- Strengthen and bridge existing bilateral, sub-regional and regional agreements; and
- Encourage adoption of international standards and industry good practice in oil pollution preparedness and response.
Guided by its mission, the objectives of GI SEA are similar to those of GI WACAF, and aligned to the GI Programme. Specifically, the Project, in collaboration with competent national authorities in charge of oil pollution response, and in partnership with the IMO and local oil and gas industry, seeks to strengthen the six elements of preparedness, and response capability, across the region, as highlighted below:
Promote and support the ratification and effective implementation of OPRC, and in addition, the international conventions on liability and compensation.
Promote and support the development of effective national oil spill contingency plans and national response systems.
Support and facilitate the development and implementation of bilateral, sub-regional and regional agreements relating to oil spill response cooperation.
Encourage arrangements to provide access to adequate oil spill response resources, commensurate with the level of risk.
Support regular training of relevant stakeholders in oil spill preparedness and response, and inform on new developments in the field.
Support and facilitate the development and implementation of a programme of exercises for relevant stakeholders to enhance and continually improve oil spill response capability.
At the regional level, GI SEA works with the AESAN Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG), through the IMO-ASEAN Partnership on technical co-operation, and provides a common platform for the ASEAN Member States to address oil pollution preparedness and response.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a country with extensive coastline and with a significant potential risk of oil pollution incidents. 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 PRC 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 PRS’s capacity in oil spill preparedness and response.