Sea Alarm hosted the 3rd meeting of key European wildlife response organisations at its office in Brussels in April. The group, which includes Sea Alarm, the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA), the Ostend Wildlife Rescue Centre (Belgium), and ProBird (Germany), meets twice a year to evaluate and further optimise their joint international response preparedness.
Sea Alarm was invited to make a presentation at the IPIECA Oil Spill Working Group meeting in London on 11 November. IPIECA is the global oil and gas industry’s association for environmental and social issues and its Oil Spill Working Group, created in 1987 is a key international industry forum working on improving oil spill contingency planning and response worldwide on behalf of its members. Sea Alarm is recognised as a Partner Organisation of IPIECA.
A second 2010 HELCOM RESPONSE meeting was held 13-15 October in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sea Alarm did not attend the meeting, but prepared a proposal for a working programme for oiled wildlife response preparedness together with WWF-Finland and Estonia. The proposal was presented to the meeting by Estonia and WWF-Finland and, after some discussion and suggestions for modification, was adopted.
Sea Alarm organised a second meeting with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend and ProBird Germany, to discuss wildlife response issues, especially the rehabilitation of oiled birds. The meeting took place in September at Mallydams Wood, one of RSPCA’s wildlife hospitals, and was attended by various people from the different key organisations mentioned. An earlier meeting in April 2010 demonstrated that it is useful to have regular exchanges of the details of the oiled bird rehabilitation protocols that each of the organisations uses.
Following an earlier discussion in 2009, Benoit Loicq from the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) visited the Sea Alarm offices in Brussels last September. The aim of this meeting was for both organisations to present their activities and look at areas of common interest. Mr Loicq explained the setup and programme of ECSA, which is an international association made up of the national shipowner associations in each EU Member State. ECSA works to promote and represent European shipping interests though specialised committees, including an Environment and Safety Committee.
Sea Alarm attended the 2010 meeting of UK Standing Environment Group chairs in London on 3 June. Saskia Sessions was able to make a presentation introducing Sea Alarm to the SEG Chairs new to their posts, explaining our role, recent developments in oiled wildlife response in Europe and to explore possible UK activities in oiled wildlife preparedness.
Sea Alarm was invited to attend a stakeholder consultation meeting at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on 5 March in Lisbon, Portugal. EMSA is an EU agency working towards safer and cleaner shipping and has a multi-annual programme dedicated to preparedness and response to pollution at sea from ships.
While in Istanbul attending the Black Sea Commission ESAS AG meeting, Sea Alarm took the opportunity to organise a Turkish national NGO meeting hosted at MEKE Marine premises. The main aim of the meeting, held on 4 November 2009, was to bring Turkish NGOs together and to have a look at past experiences, exploring each other’s specific expertise and interest in the matter and the contributions that each could bring to an integrated oiled wildlife response.
Sea Alarm attended the 18th Meeting of the Environmental Safety Aspects of Shipping Advisory Group of the Black Sea Commission that took place in Istanbul, Turkey on the 4 and 5 of November 2009. The ESAS AG Group, an integral part of the Black Sea Commission institutional structure, coordinates the regional approach to emergency response, particularly international response to accidents involving extraction, maritime transport, handling and storage of oil and hazardous chemicals.