In our last 20-year anniversary article (Part 1) we introduced the importance of networking, the role Sea Alarm has had in initiating and coordinating NGO Response networks and reviewed the history of the European Network EUROWA. In Part 2, we continue the story, presenting the work of the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) and some closing words on the significance of these networks, which leave the world better prepared for oiled wildlife response.
Network is a word that is used a lot nowadays, but what is a network? For Sea Alarm, it is a group of organisations and/or individuals with a common interest working together. We have a strong belief that by cooperating and striving towards common goals, a well-coordinated network can grow to be stronger than the sum of its parts (in other words, its individual members).
At the turn of the new millennium, Sea Alarm was still a young organisation aiming to bring more professionalism into the field of oiled wildlife response by working in cooperation with animal care specialists, governments and industry stakeholders. This journey to professionalism, marked by a number of serious oil spills, was not a smooth one.
Sea Alarm has played an active role in motivating European Coastal States to explore the issue of Oiled Wildlife Response and Preparedness via the three major Regional Agreements: “Bonn”, “HELCOM” and “Barcelona”. This article provides an overview of these efforts, and what has been achieved over the years.
Throughout its 20 years of existence, Sea Alarm has assisted many European countries by motivating, initiating, informing and facilitating national processes, with the aim of raising awareness and improving response planning and capacity building.
Sea Alarm organised and facilitated an IPIECA workshop in Cyprus in November 2019, under the auspices of the IPIECA Oil Spill Group. The workshop brought together oil company decision-makers and subject matter experts who have an influence on oiled wildlife planning within their companies.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences everywhere are being cancelled, however, the Arctic Preparedness Platform for Oil Spill and Other Environmental Accidents (APP4SEA) elected to hold a Twitter conference, at which Sea Alarm was an invited participant.
Spanish oiled wildlife response stakeholders came together on 3 and 4 March 2020 in Madrid at the headquarters of the Fundación Biodiversidad for an oiled wildlife workshop focused on improving processes for oiled wildlife response at the regional and national level.
February saw the first in-person meeting of the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) for 2020, which was held in the UK.
We are pleased to announce that our MoU with the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) has been extended for a further two years.
In February 2020, Sea Alarm’s Hugo Nijkamp attended the 27th HELCOM Response meeting in Vejle, Denmark where the integration of all aspects of at sea response, shoreline response and wildlife response was a key topic.
In its 20 year history Sea Alarm has been active across the globe, carrying out numerous activities to advance wildlife response preparedness with a large number of stakeholders.