In a bid to reinforce international preparedness and response to pollution at sea, the Third Interregional Workshop on Risk Assessment Tools for Pollution Preparedness and Response (PPR) from the EU-funded and HELCOM-led OpenRisk project took place in Valletta, Malta from 24 to 25 April 2018.
“The workshop was an important step towards providing pollution preparedness and response (PPR) guidelines at the regional level,” said Valtteri Laine, the OpenRisk Project Manager at HELCOM and moderator of the workshop.
“We had hands-on sessions with open-source risk assessment tools which are designed to facilitate decision-making in PPR,” said Laine. The main focus of the event was on practical testing of existing tools and those recently developed during the OpenRisk project, such as IWRAP, ERC-M, KYSTRISK, MARINRISK, FRAM and NG-SRW/ADSAM. The tools help predicting maritime accidents and their consequences.
In addition, the ISO 31000:2009 based guideline for PPR risk management was also presented during the event, in order to get feedback for finalization.
This was the third workshop in a series of four spanning from June 2017 to October 2018. The meetings aim at sharing knowledge between European and global institutions and regional seas PPR organizations, to further the development of toolboxes and guidelines for PPR risk assessments.
The Valletta-edition was hosted by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and moderated by HELCOM. It was attended by other national administrations, intergovernmental regional organizations and research institutions.
OpenRisk is a two year EU project on methods for maritime risk assessments on accidental spills, carried out by HELCOM, the Malmö-based World Maritime University(WMU), Dutch marine research institute Marin and the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE). The project is also supported by the BONN Agreement (North Sea), the Copenhagen Agreement (Nordic seas), REMPEC (Mediterranean), as well as the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
In regards to pollution preparedness and response, HELCOM countries will also carry out the BALEX DELTA 2018 held in Karlskrona, Sweden later in August 2018, a large scale maritime response drill at sea and on shore simulating the accident of a container shipleading to an oil and chemical spill.
The presentations of the workshop in Malta are available on the public HELCOM meeting site of the OpenRisk 3-2018 Workshop.