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PEMSEA, OSRL renew Partnership Agreement on oil spill response

Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) recently held a virtual signing ceremony for a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that formalizes the renewal of a partnership agreement between the two organizations.

“Our relationship with PEMSEA has extended for well over a decade. We have been a Non-Country Partner to PEMSEA for many years and have supported a range of activities and projects including, but not limited to: the East Asia Seas Congress and Gulf Of Thailand (GOT) Cooperation On Oil Spill Preparedness And Response. This new Memorandum of Understanding marks the beginning of another important chapter in our relationship of collaboration,” said Mr. Darren Waterman, OSRL Regional Director.

“The new MoU that we have established provides a handrail to guide our collaborative efforts in achieving the desired objective of raising awareness of, and competence in, oil spill preparedness and response and good practices. Through engagement with national and regional stakeholders, we can also support the ongoing development of oil spill response capability across the region,” he added.

OSRL is an industry-funded cooperative with a mission to help organizations prepare for and respond to oil spills efficiently and effectively on a global basis. Its members represent over 2/3 of global oil production and include organizations throughout the oil supply chain. OSRL’s membership also includes national governments who rely on the organization to supplement their national response capability through its expertise and extensive resources to help preserve the environment and other sensitive resources, and mitigate the consequences of oil spills.

Speaking for PEMSEA, Executive Director Ms. Aimee Gonzales shared that “one of the major thrusts of PEMSEA is to promote the sustainable use and protection of the coastal and marine environment, including protection from oil spills and building of partnerships among governments of the region and between government and the private sector. This is embodied in the shared regional Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) Implementation Plan 2018-2022.”

“We thank OSRL for their continued partnership since 2006 in providing technical advice and support in the implementation of the Gulf of Thailand Cooperation which aims to build the capacity of the three littoral States, Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam, in planning for and responding to oil spill incidents as part of the global efforts to protect the marine environment,” she added.

The ongoing collaboration between PEMSEA and OSRL has assisted in the:

  1. Strengthening of contingency planning at the sub-regional level. The drafting of the sub-regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan was initiated by PEMSEA with technical support from OSRL and IPIECA Global Initiative for South East Asia.
  2. Development and updating of the Sub-regional Guidelines on the Use of Chemical Dispersants for Oil Spill. Updating of the sub-regional guidelines was completed in 2020 with technical assistance from OSRL. All three countries have adopted their respective national guidelines on dispersants use with the approval of the guidelines in Cambodia in April 2020 and the issuance of regulation in Viet Nam on dispersant use in December 2020.
  3. OSRL has played a major role in the conduct of a number of national and sub-regional training workshops with the objective of enhancing the capacities of relevant personnel in dealing with oil spill incidents. GOT National contact points, inter-agency project task teams and relevant agencies directly involved in the development and updating of contingency plans, policies and guidelines were trained in various aspects of oil spill preparedness and response.

PEMSEA hopes that apart from the activities lined up in GOT, OSRL would be able to assist Indonesia and Timor-Leste and other partners in the Arafura Timor Seas in the training and capacity building on oil spill preparedness and response; as well as share their experience and accomplishments at the upcoming East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2021 on December 1-4.