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.
The meeting was preceded by a one-day gathering of HELCOM Response’s SHORE Network, which discussed the updating of various HELCOM Recommendations and the HELCOM Manual. The Shore Network (an Expert Coordination Network) is tasked, as its title suggests, with sharing knowledge and experiences on national developments in oil spill response on shore.
A topic underlying both meetings was the question of how HELCOM could work towards a better integration of all aspects of at sea response, shoreline response and wildlife response in the national and international management of oil spill emergencies. Sea Alarm participated in these discussions and teamed up with the Swedish delegation and WWF Finland to propose a strategy for the draft Baltic Action Plan, which in the end was adopted by HELCOM Response.
Sea Alarm also made the case for firming up the participation of Contracting Parties in the Expert Working Group for Oiled Wildlife Response (EWG-OWR), which Hugo is chairing. Last but not least, Sea Alarm presented the recent developments in formalising the EUROWA network, and the importance of this network as an asset in the system of mutual assistance under HELCOM Response, the other Regional Agreements and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.