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IPIECA and IMO to hold oil spill response conference for west, central and southern Africa

The biennial Regional Conference of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF Project) will be held from the 4 to 8 November, in Swakopmund, Namibia, and is being jointly organized by IPIECA, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Ministry of Works and Transport of the Republic of Namibia.

As a result of increased oil and gas activities in the region, the risks of oil spills are presenting new challenges; the Conference aims ensure an effective response by promoting public/private partnership under the theme “Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Capability in West, Central and Southern Africa: Sustaining momentum in a changing world of oil spill risks”.

The main objectives are to:

  • raise awareness on oil spill preparedness and response issues with an emphasis on specific regional challenges
  • facilitate information sharing and lessons learned in the region
  • review the progresses achieved since the last regional conference and
  • determine priority actions for the coming biennium 2014-2015 to strengthen oil spill response capability in the region.

Discussions will centre on key technical preparedness and response topics, including legislation, management systems, contingency planning, international co-operation, training and response resources. The conference will provide an opportunity for national delegates and industry representatives to consider ways to enhance and strengthen their preparedness and response systems, alongside international technical experts. Delegates will also have the opportunity to comment on the progress achieved since the inception of the GI WACAF Project, and exchange their experience and best practices.

Industry and Government stakeholders from 22 west, central and southern African countries and leading international oil spill preparedness and response experts will attend the 2013 conference, which follows those held in Nigeria (November 2011), Cameroon (November 2009), Republic of Congo (December 2007) and Gabon (April 2006).

“The GI WACAF Project provides unique opportunities for governments and industry to share best practices and work together in partnership on oil spill preparedness and response challenges. There have been many great achievements across the region since the project was launched in 2006. This 2013 biennium conference is a key milestone and a critical moment to come together and review progress, look ahead at how oil spill risks are evolving and to define the next steps to continue achieving our goals”, said Richard Santner, Senior Advisor, Oil Spill Response, BP, and Chairman of the GI WACAF Project since 2011.