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SaferSeas / Management of Accidental Marine Pollution Seminar. Contributions to Exchange of Experience Initiatives by IMO, EMSA and Regional Organisations Michel Girin Director of Cedre. Exchanging Experience.

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SaferSeas / Management of Accidental Marine Pollution Seminar

Contributions to Exchange of Experience Initiatives by IMO, EMSA and Regional Organisations

Michel Girin

Director of Cedre.


Exchanging Experience

  • Dissemination of experience: he who faced a problem presents his decisions/actions to others, who may be interested
  • Exchange of experience: different parties, having faced problems responding to similar situations discuss their respective decisions/actions, with the aim to do better next time


  • Dissemination of experience on response the Erika spill
  • Exchange of experience on response to heavy fuel spills offshore

The limitations

  • Communicating one’s experience: focusing on the positive achievements or telling the truth to the negative points ?
  • Party to exchange with: mutual confidence and mutual interest are required
  • ►A facilitator may be needed to convince the parties concerned to join and share

The facilitators

  • International: the IMO
  • Europe: MCMP, EMSA, The Research framework and the Interreg programmes
  • Regional: HELCOM, the Bonn, Lisbon and Barcelona Agreements
  • ►Cedre is technical adviser on marine pollution management to the French delegations at all the above

IMO: the R&D Forums

  • Worldwide seminars on particular thematics attached to the trio of International Conferences IOSC (USA), SPILLCON (Australia) and INTERSPILL (Europe)
  • Ex: responding to heavy fuel oil spills, Brest, 2003
  • ►Exchanges between scientists, industry and administrations, worldwide, low frequency (next one : 2009)

Europe, DG Env, MCMP

  • Incidents reviews at MCMP meetings
  • The workshops, pilot studies, joint exercises and training sessions in the rolling plan
  • The Eumarex exchange of experts programme
  • ►Committee and plan terminated end of 2006.
  • ►Programme integrated in civil security exchanges in mid 2007
community framework for cooperation 2000 2006
Community framework for cooperation (2000-2006)


  • Support and supplement Member State’s efforts in the field of preparedness
  • Improve Member State’s response
  • Promote efficient mutual assistance and cooperation

Current actions

  • Management of a three-year rolling plan (workshops, pilot projects, exercises…)
  • Community Information System (CIS)
  • Response to emergencies (via the Mechanism)

Example of MCMP achievement: the EUMAREX exchanges of experts

  • Stays of a few days to a few weeks in a selected institution of another country
  • Duration of programme: 5 years (2002-2006)
  • Total experts exchanged: 120
  • Countries first receivers: UK/Norway (18 Experts)
  • Country first provider: Spain (24 Experts)
  • ►A must for all involved in pollution response
  • Activities continue within the civil protection exchange programme

Europe, EMSA

  • Thematic workshops : use of dispersants, response to HNS pollution...
  • European reviews : oil spill recovery vessels, Eutopean cooperative projects...
  • GroupS of European experts : satellite imagery, spill response...
  • ►Progressively taking over the exchange of experience activities in the terminated MCMP rolling plan

Examples of recent EMSA workshops

  • Places of refuge: cooperation, liability and compensation
  •  Directive on port reception facilities for ship generated waste and cargo residues
  • Implementation of Directive on ship-source pollution
  • Pollution Response workshop for Bulgaria and Romania
  • Revision of MARPOL annex VI
  • Implementation of the HNS Convention
  • Training for Bulgaria and Romania on the HNS Convention
  • Ship-sourced Chemical Pollution at Sea: Risk, Preparedness & Response in Europe
  • Ratification and Implementation of HNS and Bunkers Conventions
  • Satellite Monitoring of Oil Spills over European Waters
  • Use of Oil Spill Dispersants in European Waters
  • ►Exchanges of experience + assistance to new members

Europe, Research framework programmes

  • Cooperative research projects on all aspects of marine pollution prevention, response and impactss
  • Development of improves tests, procedures and tools for response and response monitoring
  • ►Progressively building the European scientific oil spill response know-how

Examples of Cooperative Studies and Research Projects

  • NEEDS: EU Energy needs for the future, externalities of oil transport
  • DEEPP: Databank on potentially polluting shipwrecks
  • INTERRISK: Interoperable GMES Services for Environmental Risk Management in Marine and Coastal Areas
  • PRAGMA: Experimental tools to assess the extent and impact of a major oil spill
  • RESPIL: Experimental impact study of 2 chemical pollutants
  • OSH: Oil Sea Harvester, large offshore oil recovery vessel
  • SPREEX: Spill response experience based research needs
  • AMPERA: Optimisation of the EU Accidental Marine Pollution research effort
  • ASMA: Survey, modelling and remote sensing techniques for Monitoring and Assessment of environmental impacts of submerged oil
  • ►A wide variety of topics and participants

Europe, Interreg

  • Cooperative projects:
  • to disseminate in local communities experience established at national level,
  • to establish mutual assistance procedures between neighbouring communities
  • ►Exchange of experience at local level

Examples of Interreg projects

  • Interreg South Western Atlantic:
  • LOSTCONT: response to containers lost at sea. Partners from France, Spain, Portugal
  • EROCIPS: Emergency Response to coastal Oil, Chemical and Inert Pollution from Shipping. Partners from UK, France, Spain, Portugal
  • PRESTIGE: Experience gained from the Prestige incident. Partners from France, Spain
  • ►Exchange of experience on practical matters

Regional Agreements

  • Helcom (Baltic), Bonn (North Sea) are self financed. Barcelona benefits of an IMO/EU financed facilitator (REMPEC)
  • The information/services a country gets is what others bring in: incident reviews at technical meetings, mutual aid
  • In the most advanced: a joint oil spill response manual, joint oil spil response exercises, with intercalibration
  • ►Serving prioritarily operational response needs

Examples: Bonn agreement

  • The mutual information on pollution incidents
  • The common “color code” for slick thickness assessment
  • The yearly operational spills in the North Sea map
  • The joint oil spill response manual
  • The invitations to join members exercises
  • The mutual assistance agreement
  • ►Tackling all aspects of the response package

Dissemination and exchange of experience are permanent activities at Cedre as:

  • incident response archivist
  • technical adviser
  • operator of test facilities
  • partner in development projects
  • specialised trainer