Our History

The “Regional Oil Combating Centre” (ROCC) was originally established in 1976 and became the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), in 1989
1974
1974 1974-1975

After the creation of the Regional Seas Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1974, the Mediterranean became the first region to adopt an Action Plan, namely the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of 1975.

1976
1976 1976

The Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Coastal States of the Mediterranean Region for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea, was convened in Barcelona, Spain, from 2 to 16 February 1976 and adopted the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (“the Barcelona Convention of 1976”), which strives to protect the marine environment and coastal zones through preventing and reducing pollution and, as far as possible, eliminating pollution, whether land- or sea-based. The Barcelona Convention was adopted together with the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft (Dumping Protocol) and the Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (“the 1976 Emergency Protocol”).

1976 Mr Philippe Le Lourd

Former Director of REMPEC (1976 - 1984)

1978
1978 1978

The Barcelona Convention of 1976, the Dumping Protocol and the 1976 Emergency Protocol entered into force on 12 February 1978.

1979
1979 1979

The Mediterranean Regional Trust Fund for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (MTF) was established and a budget created for ROCC, covering the Centre’s operating costs and activities.

1984
1984 Mr Michel Voirin

Former Director of REMPEC (1984 - 1988)

1987
1987 1987

In 1987, the Centre’s mandate was extended to include “hazardous substances other than oil”.

1988
1988 Mr Jean Claude Sainlos

Former Director of REMPEC (1988 - 1998)

1989
1989 1989

In 1989, the name of the Centre was changed to the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).

1993
1993 1993

The Contracting Parties adopted the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil (“the Offshore Protocol”).

1994
1994 1994

The Contracting Parties adopted the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil (“the Offshore Protocol”). Whilst the Offshore Protocol specifically requests Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to implement mutatis mutandis the provisions of the 1976 Emergency Protocol, in cases of emergency, it also details the role of REMPEC in this matter.

1995
1995 1995

The Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Sustainable Development of the Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean (MAP Phase II) was adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. At the same time, the Barcelona Convention of 1976 was amended and renamed the “Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean” (“the Barcelona Convention”).

1997
1997 1997

The adoption of a Resolution on a “Regional Strategy on prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships” opened the way for amending the 1976 Emergency Protocol.

1998
1998 1998

Contracting Parties initiated a long and wide consultation process to review the 1976 Emergency Protocol in order to address the prevention of marine pollution, but also to bring its text up to date.

1998 Admiral Roberto Patruno

Former Director of REMPEC (1998 - 2005)

1999
1999 1999

Mediterranean Technical Working Group (MTWG) was established in order to facilitate the exchange of technical data and other scientific and technological information aimed at assessing the nature, exposure and risks from accidental marine pollution and to promote remedies for such pollution in the Mediterranean Sea area.

2001
2001 2001

Contracting Parties adopted the new objectives and functions of REMPEC, reaffirming its involvement in activities related to prevention of, preparedness for and response to marine pollution and instead of amending the 1976 Emergency Protocol decided to adopt a new one.

2002
2002 2002

The Protocol concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea (“the 2002 Prevention and Emergency Protocol”) was adopted. The said Protocol covers prevention of, preparing for and responses to marine pollution from sea-based sources, either caused by accidental releases or by accumulations of small, operational discharges, of oil or other harmful substances.

2004
2004 2004

This year saw the entry into force of the Barcelona Convention and the 2002 Prevention and Emergency Protocol, which replaced the 1976 Emergency Protocol in the relations between the Parties to both instruments.

2005
2005 2005

The Regional Strategy for the Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships was adopted, defining twenty-one (21) objectives to be achieved by 2015, as well as a set of implementation goals, a timetable for its implementation, and listing relevant international Conventions and European legislation.

2005 Mr Frédéric Hébert

Former Director of REMPEC (2005 - 2014)

2006
2006 2006

The Jiyeh Power Plant pollution incident, in Lebanon, marked a major milestone in REMPEC’s history. The Centre supported the Lebanese Government and coordinated the regional assistance, in cooperation with international and regional organisations and provided expert assistance on-site and remotely.

2009
2009 2009

REMPEC’s current mandate was adopted.

2010
2010 2010-2011

The “Deepwater Horizon” oil spill of 20 April 2010 brought the Offshore Protocol back onto the agenda for the Mediterranean, European and international community, and led to its entry coming into force on 24 March 2011.

2012
2012 2012

The Mediterranean Strategy on Ships’ Ballast Water Management, including its Action Plan and Timetable, and the “General Guidance on the Voluntary Application of the D1 Ballast Water Exchange Standard by Vessels Operating between the Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic and/or the Baltic Sea”, was adopted to address one of the top threats to the world’s oceans and seas, namely the introduction of invasive alien species through ships’ ballast water. REMPEC was requested, together with SPA/RAC, to assist the Parties in its implementation.

2013
2013 2013

The Mediterranean Network of Law Enforcement Officials relating to MARPOL within the framework of the Barcelona Convention (MENELAS), was established with REMPEC acting as the Secretariat of this network.

2014
2014 Mr Jonathan Pace

Former Head of Office of REMPEC (2014 - 2015)

2015
2015 Mr Gabino Gonzalez

Head of Office of REMPEC (2015 - Current)

2016
2016 2016

The Regional Strategy for Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2016- 2021) was adopted following the completion of the implementation period of the Regional Strategy of 2005 in 2015. The Regional Strategy defines twenty-two (22) Specific Objectives to be achieved by 2021 in relation to priority issues to be addressed when implementing the 2002 Prevention and Emergency Protocol.

2016 Commemorative Book of the 40th Anniversary of REMPEC

REMPEC's Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations (1976 – 2016)

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published on 2020/01/10 11:59:00 GMT+0 last modified 2020-04-20T13:10:15+00:00