The EUROWA project partners met at RSPCA Mallydams Wood in October 2017 for the first in-person meeting since the end of the EU-funded aspect of the project.
EUROWA is in the process of transitioning from a philosophy developed as part of the EU-funded project (2015-16) into a philosophy carried by members of a formalised network, supported by MoUs. With this transition, there is a need for the group to continue to regularly meet face-to-face to develop further technical standards, share updates and plan upcoming activities.
During the 3-day meeting, the group discussed network governance and heard updates on recent training events and oil spill responses that the members have been involved in (further details can be found on the EUROWA news page). Plans were also made to hold a number of EUROWA training courses for interested wildlife responders and managers in 2018 at various locations in Europe. Further details will be published soon at www.oiledwildlife.eu/eurowa.
Part of the meeting was dedicated to a tabletop exercise on designing a temporary oiled wildlife rehabilitation facility. Design and layout of an efficient wildlife rehabilitation facility is a key skill of oiled wildlife response at specialist and manager level, so having a practical example for the group to consider during peacetime is an important way of honing this skill. Lessons learned from such exercises also serve to refine and update published EUROWA technical standards and guidelines.
Sea Alarm would like to thank the RSPCA for hosting this meeting. We will continue working with the EUROWA network in 2018 to strengthen response capability within the team, to further expand on technical standards, and to offer hands-on training for interested oiled wildlife responders.