A regional training workshop was held in Helsinki on 17-19 March 2008. Organised by WWF-Finland, SYKE, and Sea Alarm, the conference brought together 35 participants from the Baltic coastal states and Norway, and lecturers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.
The workshop presented information on oiled wildlife response and preparedness to key individuals from governmental agencies and NGOs in the Baltic region, and focused particularly on networking and cooperation. The first day of the workshop provided an overview of oiled wildlife response and planning, and included a range of topics relevant to the Baltic Sea. The participants also presented the state of preparedness in their respective countries.
The second day was devoted to technical training on wildlife response issues (dealing with oiled animals, rehabilitation process, the use of facilities, etc). Special emphasis was placed on the development and use of mobile units, which included an excursion to the newly designed Finnish mobile unit. A table-top exercise was held on the third day, which stimulated discussions into how to organise an oiled wildlife response.
The Baltic regional training workshop can be considered as the first in a programme of regional training sessions that Sea Alarm hopes to organise in the various coastal regions in Europe, including the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and North-East Atlantic/North Sea regions.