The impacts of oil pollution and its effect on the marine environment, and the importance of having in place an effective national framework for responding to oil spills were the focus of a national workshop held in Port Louis, Mauritius (22-24 May).
The workshop was part of IMO’s work to support parties to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) with their National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP). Twenty-eight senior managers and administrators involved in the country’s response to oil pollution incidents took part in-person in lectures and discussions on the need for rapid decision-making to mitigate the impact of any oil spill, and the importance of cooperation between stakeholders at a national level, as well as with those in neighbouring countries and the wider international community.
Also covered were roles and responsibilities prior to, and during the response to, a pollution incident; relevant regulations and conventions; and liability and compensation. The workshop incorporated table-top and discussion-based exercises to build capacity and test response systems so as to identify areas requiring improvement or development. Support was also provided in the updating of the Mauritius NOSCP following an incident involving the bulk carrier MV Wakashio in an ecologically sensitive area off the coast of Mauritius in 2020.
A draft action plan was produced to facilitate ongoing development of an effective national oil spill preparedness and response framework. The event gave participants a networking opportunity to enhance cooperation and to stimulate a collaborative approach to oil spill preparedness and response.
The workshop was co-organised by IMO and the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries & Shipping, Mauritius. It was hosted by the Ministry of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management and financed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China through the IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP). It is part of IMO's ongoing commitment to supporting African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the effective implementation of the OPRC Convention.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Maritime Organization (IMO).