The final chapter in the trilogy of sessions on a common foundation for the assessment of national oil spill response preparedness programmes – Nov 25, 2021

In the wake of the first session of the Sub-regional Online Workshop on the Assessment of the Level of Oil Spill Response Planning and Readiness Management for the Central and Eastern Mediterranean countries (7-8 September 2021), practical country-specific sessions on the use of the Readiness Evaluation Tool for Oil Spills and the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) for Oiled Wildlife Response, were organised in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Libya, Monaco, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Turkey, between 21 September and 4 November 2021.

On 23 November 2021, the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) organized, in the framework of the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), the Online Closure session of the Workshop with the support of Sea Alarm, ITOPF, ARPEL, and Polaris Applied Sciences. Over 22 representatives from Central and Eastern Mediterranean countries participated in the closure event. The above-mentioned countries, together with Egypt and Lebanon, attended this event.

The trilogy of activities enabled each country to acquire practical and focused experience on the use of both tools, claim ownership and integrate evaluation processes in their National systems. The activities set the path towards the preparation of National Oil Spill Preparedness programmes, Global Performance Analysis and Improvement Programmes that yield benchmarking results to plan continued enhancements of National preparedness and response systems.

The participants agreed upon a set of conclusions and recommendations, notably to urge all contracting parties to use these tools, to improve preparedness and response across the region and to capitalise the outcome of countries’ assessments to implement improvement processes at sub-regional level.

The workshop recognised the instrumental role of REMPEC to coordinate the multi-institutional processes and strengthen cooperation in the Mediterranean region. Participants welcomed the follow-up activities proposed by REMPEC for the biennium 2022-2023 to continue assisting Central and Eastern Mediterranean countries in the development and implementation of their respective national oil spill contingency planning improvement programmes.

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