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Brussels workshop discusses global system for oiled wildlife response

GOWRS.standing2013Ten leading oiled wildlife response organisations from around the globe, all with significant histories of international oil spill response, attended a workshop in Brussels in October 2013. The meeting, organized by Sea Alarm and sponsored by the Oil Spill Response Joint Industry Project (OSR-JIP), furthered cooperative efforts begun at Interspill 2012.

At that 2012 meeting, key representatives of the oil industry asked the community of oiled wildlife responders to develop a proposal for a multi-year project that would put a global response system in place. The follow-up Brussels workshop was commissioned by Oil Spill Response Joint Industry Project (OSR-JIP) to allow the wildlife response community to come together to define a project proposal for JIP funding in the year 2014 that would develop the infrastructure of a global wildlife response system.

Workshop attendees, listed below, explored ways in which such a truly global oiled wildlife response system could be set up as a service to the oil industry via the Oil Spill Response Organisations of the Global Response Network and to other recipients, such as NGOs and governmental agencies, to improve the planning for and response to oil spills involving wildlife worldwide.

Discussions centred around the design of a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for executing such services. The SOP would allow access to the services of a network of professional oiled wildlife responders, the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS), and would provide guidance through the processes of notification, mobilisation, on site activities, demobilisation and reporting. The SOP as envisioned would also define the standards, qualifications, tools and equipment that should be available in order to provide global wildlife services to the highest possible industry quality standards.

Oiled wildlife response organisations participating in Brussels

Aiuká, Brazil
Focus Wildlife, USA
International Bird Rescue,USA
Oiled Wildlife Care Network, UCDavis, USA
Pro-Bird, Germany
RSPCA, UK
SANCCOB, South Africa
Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, USA
Wildbase, Massey University, New Zealand
Wildlife Rescue Centre, Ostende, Belgium

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