IMO supports spill preparedness in the Northwest Pacific
IMO is supporting regional cooperation on oil and hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) spills in the Northwest Pacific region. IMO’s Roel Hoenders is taking part in meetings of the Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) taking place in Incheon, Republic of Korea (17-20 July). The Centre was originally established by IMO and UNEP to create effective cooperative measures to spill response under the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)*, said in a press release.
Mr. Hoenders presented IMO’s recent work and achievements in environmental protection, highlighting ratification and implementation of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-Operation (OPRC-90) and its Protocol relating to spills involving HNS. The meeting also included discussions on practical assistance provided by MERRAC during recent incidents; the development of an information sharing platform on oil and HNS spills; outcomes of recent oil spill exercises; and upcoming new projects.
MERRAC operates in a similar way to so-called Regional Activity Centres (RACs) supporting regions such as the Mediterranean Sea, through REMPEC, and the Wider Caribbean Region, through REMPEITC-Caribe.
The close cooperation between IMO and UN Environment, through the RACs in different sea basins, supports Member States’ efforts in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
*NOWPAP involves member countries China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russian Federation, and is one of the 18 UN Environment (UNEP) Regional Seas Programmes worldwide.