The Central and Eastern Mediterranean coastal States evaluates their readiness to respond to oil spills joining Western Mediterranean countries in the use of harmonised assessment tools – Sep 09, 2021


The Sub-regional Workshop on the assessment of the level of oil spill response planning and readiness management for the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, financed by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (lTCP) was organised online by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) between 7 and 8 September 2021.

This Workshop which follows the workshop for Western Mediterranean coastal States (Valletta, Malta April 2019), organised in the framework of the EU-funded Western Mediterranean Region Marine Oil and HNS Pollution Cooperation Project (West MOPoCo), marks an important milestone toward the harmonisation of national assessment of the level of preparedness to respond to oil spills, throughout the Mediterranean region.

The first session was attended by thirty-five (35) representatives from competent authorities from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Libya, Monaco, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Turkey. 

The participants acquired hands-on working knowledge and experience on the use of assessment tools to analyse and identify gaps in national oil preparedness and response systems, including oiled wildlife response with the contribution of the Sea Alarm Foundation (Member of the Mediterranean Assistant Unit). 

Central and Eastern Mediterranean countries have now the ability to produce national self-assessment reports, including gap analyses, and  performance analysis, which will allow them to develop a national oil spill contingency planning improvement programme.

What next?

Country-specific online sessions will be organised for each Central and Eastern Mediterranean country, between 21 September and 4 November 2021, to complete the assessment through personalised support provided by REMPEC lecturers and ITOPF.

The closing session, scheduled on 23 November 2021, will review the outcome of the country-specific sessions, and define the way forward to develop and implement improvement programme.

Follow-up activities are proposed, by REMPEC, for the biennium 2022-2023, to build on this experience and continue assisting Central and Eastern Mediterranean countries in the development and implementation of their respective national oil spill contingency planning improvement programme.