IMO is helping to strengthen regional mechanisms dealing with oil spills in the Pacific Islands region, by providing support to the new PACPLAN Resilience Project 2022-2025.
he project, launched in 22 June, at a virtual inception meeting, will support Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu in ratifying and implementing relevant international law, including two important IMO treaties:
- International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC);
- The Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances (OPRC-HNS Protocol).
Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) , the project will begin with in-country visits to assess the real needs of the target beneficiary countries, using the RETOS (Readiness Evaluation Tool for Oil Spills) approach for evaluating oil spills.
The maritime incident and spill risk in the Pacific is characterised by a diverse range of shipping activities that create risk, including international transit routes, regional and domestic trade, and fishing.
The threat from spills in the region is characterised by remoteness, ecological fragility, deep social and cultural ties, economic trade, and subsistence reliance on local marine resources.
IMO, through its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), supports the capacity-building, knowledge sharing and training elements of the PACPLAN Resilience Project 2022-2025, using lessons learned from IMO projects with similar objectives, in South East Asia, the Caribbean, and the western Indian Ocean. IMO is also a member of the PACPLAN Resilience Project Steering Committee.
The Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme (PACPOL) falls under the purview of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to assist island members states to address pollution with a focus on ship-sourced waste and pollution.