Third Offshore Protocol Working Group Meeting – Jun 17, 2014

Offshore 2.pngThe 3rd Offshore Protocol Working Group Meeting was held in Attard, Malta, 17-18 June 2014, in the presence of thirty-six participants. It gathered  representatives from sixteen Mediterranean coastal States (Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey), and  experts from other Regional Seas Programmes, MAP Partners, Non-Governmental Organizations, Regional Organizations, and Industry Organizations.

The Meeting was organized by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) within the framework of the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean Project (EcAp MED), in coordination with the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). 

The Meeting aimed to: 

  1. Review the draft Action Plan for the implementation of 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 (Offshore Protocol);
  2. Discuss the working arrangements of the Barcelona Convention Offshore Oil and Gas Group (BARCO –OFOG Group) as requested in the Decision IG.21/8 of the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (Istanbul, December 2013); and,
  3. Address necessary partnerships with other organizations, the industry and other actors to be established, including the MAP Partners to support in the framework of the BARCO –OFOG Group the successful implementation of the Offshore Protocol.

The draft Action Plan was reviewed and will be submitted to the upcoming Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) Focal Point Meetings in 2015 for consideration and adoption. The meeting further agreed on the following main recommendations:

  • regulate the discharge and disposal of machinery oil, the treatment and discharge of sewage, the disposal and discharge of garbage, the reception facilities and the ship storage according to the requirements listed under the relevant MARPOL Convention Annexes, to regulate the transportation to shore in conformity with the international regulations on ship construction and navigation, and to apply requirements for the loading of ships offshore in conformity with the requirements for the loading of ships in shoreline installations.     
  • mandate the UNEP/MAP Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts established by the Contracting Parties to facilitate and assess the implementation of the Guidelines on Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from Pollution of the Marine Environment in the Mediterranean Sea Area, to assess the adequacy of the said Liability and Compensation Guidelines to Offshore activities taking into consideration relevant global developments, 

  • mandate a correspondence group composed of the seven (7) Contracting Parties to the Protocol, with the support of Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention which haven’t yet ratified the Protocol, to propose amendments to the Protocol to be adopted by at least three-fourths of the Parties (i.e. 6 Parties); and 

  • ensure that the appropriate UNEP/MAP Component governance structure is defined and approved by the Contracting Parties to support the implementation of the Offshore Protocol and its Action Plan. 

The 3rd Offshore Protocol Working Group Meeting was convened pursuant to the Decision IG.20/12 of the 17th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (Paris, 2012). 

The Final Report of the Meeting (REMPEC/WG.35/6) as well as the following documents are available for your download: 

Meeting Documents: