Workshop on Regional Response Capacity and Co-ordination for Major Oil Spill in the Mediterranean Sea (MEDEXPOL 2013) – Dec 10, 2013

The Workshop on Regional Response Capacity and Co-ordination for Major Oil Spill in the Mediterranean Sea (MEDEXPOL 2013) was held in Athens, Greece between the 10 and 12 December 2013. 

The Workshop was organized by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) in cooperation with the Mediterranean Oil Industry Group (MOIG) and the Global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues (IPIECA). The Workshop was co-financed by the International Maritime Organization’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (IMO ITCP), the United Nations Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP) through its Mediterranean Trust Fund and the EU funded Ecosystem Approach (ECAP), as well as MOIG and IPIECA.

As announced at the 1st Meeting of the ad hoc Working Group on the Offshore Protocol held in Malta between 13th and 14th June 2013, MEDEXPOL 2013 addressed contingency planning and response operations in case of an offshore incident as well as progress made in the implementation of Decision IG.20/12.

The principal objectives of the Workshop were:

  • To review regional arrangements and policies related to response and cooperation to major oil spill incidents in the Mediterranean Region;

  • To examine the identified recognized international best practices and regulations relevant to the implementation of the Offshore Protocol;

  • To review the assessment and analysis of the existing practical measures in place in the Mediterranean countries with regard to Offshore activities; and

  • To provide recommendations to be considered when drafting the Action Plan requested by Decision IG.20/12 

To achieve the objectives outlined above, the agenda was prepared by REMPEC in cooperation with IPIECA. A total of twenty-one (21) speakers from Governments, United Nations Organizations, European and public Institutions, Universities and private companies contributed to this event providing specific presentations. The various presentations and the documents of the Workshop can be uploaded from here.

A total of seventy-five (75) participants including thirty-nine (39) representatives from seventeen (17) Mediterranean coastal States (Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey), and thirty-six (36) representatives from the oil industry and response companies participated in the Workshop.

Following the discussions a number of comments and recommendations were made including the main one highlighted below. All comments and recommendations will be made available on the report of the event which will be uploaded on this page, early January 2014.

Main recommendations:

  • Identify duplication/overlapping/gaps between the EU and regional initiatives and obligations including inter alia inventories and reporting obligations, better coordination of projects and activities financed through various funding mechanisms at European and regional level,

  • Improve cooperation arrangements and synergies between the EU and Regional mechanisms including inter alia coordination arrangement in case of emergency (e.g. between ERCC and REMPEC) and reporting procedure (e.g. CECIS/RIS)

  • Organize a Coordination Meeting between the relevant European institutions and the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to discuss the above issues

  • Prioritize and comment the identified recommendations for the development of the Action Plan to facilitate the implementation of the Offshore Protocol

  • Organize a meeting in spring 2014, to further discuss and review the identified recommendations and the main outline of the Action Plan

Download the report.