Promoting spill prevention and response in Western Mediterranean – Nov 27, 2018

Response plans are essential to ensure reliable national and sub-regional systems for preparedness and response, trained personnel, basic equipment and contingency plans for combating marine pollution incidents. The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), facilitated the organization of Fifth Meeting of the competent national authorities in charge of the implementation of the Sub-Regional Contingency Plan between Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia for the Preparedness for and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships for the South-Western Mediterranean.

The meeting held in Algiers, Algeria from 27 to 28 November, was opened by H.E. Mrs Fatma Zohra Zerouati, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy of Algeria. She underlined the need to organize high level sub-regional meetings on an annual basis to ensure the continuous commitment of the countries involved in the implementation of the regional plan.

REMPEC assists Mediterranean coastal States in ratifying, transposing, implementing and enforcing international maritime conventions related to the prevention, preparedness and response to pollution from ships, including IMO’s Convention International on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990 (OPRC 90). An effective regional contingency plan is considered to be the single most important factor which determines the effectiveness and the success of response to marine pollution incidents. The recent meeting falls within REMPEC’s continuous efforts to implement a solid framework for mutual assistance and cooperation in case of marine pollution from ships in the Mediterranean.

The meeting was attended by more than 150 representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, as well as from the Unites Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and REMPEC.

REMPEC also facilitated further collaboration and exchange of experience between the South-Western Mediterranean Contingency Plan, and the RAMOGE Agreement ; a similar regional cooperation framework between France, Italy and Monaco which has been in place for more than 40 years.