Cyprus, Egypt and Greece embark on devising a contingency plan on marine oil pollution

The inaugural meeting of the national competent authorities for the development of the Sub-regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece took place on 9-10 October 2019 in Piraeus, a seaside suburb of Athens that hosts one of the main ports in Greece.

REMPEC organized the meeting, which marked the launch of a process that would culminate in the adoption of the sub-regional contingency plan by the three countries in 2020.

In his opening statement, the Coordinator of UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan—Barcelona Convention Secretariat Gaetano Leone welcomed this initiative that will further strengthen the capacity of the three Mediterranean coastal States to respond to marine pollution incidents in a coordinated and efficient manner. He remarked that the contingency plan being devised by Cyprus, Egypt and Greece would be the eighth sub-regional contingency plan on marine oil pollution to be put in place in the Mediterranean region.

The process initiated by the three countries under the auspices of UNEP/MAP was ushered by a joint declaration by Cyprus, Egypt and Greece at the Trilateral Summit that took place in Elounda, Crete, on 10 October 2018. The Heads of State and Government expressed their determination to proceed promptly with the elaboration and implementation of a sub-regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan for the preparedness and response to accidental marine pollution in the framework of the Barcelona Convention. The technical support of REMPEC was notably requested from the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat.

REMPEC provided impetus for the initiative by assisting the three countries in drafting the sub-regional contingency plan and its annexes, including the steps for its completion, the related agreements and the required activities for implementation. The Centre will organise the second Meeting of the National Competent Authorities for the Development of the Sub-regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece in Cyprus, in November 2019.

REMPEC activities in support of this initiative are financed by the Mediterranean Trust Fund within the framework of the UNEP/MAP Programme of Work and Budget for the 2018-2019 biennium.

Date of Article: 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019