Launched in 1996, the Global Initiative (GI) is an umbrella programme under which governments, through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the oil industry, through IPIECA, work together to assist countries in developing national structures and capability for oil spill preparedness and response.
The GI programme is jointly led by the IMO and IPIECA, with strong participation from the International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), industry-funded Tier 3 oil spill centres (strategically sited response centres that hold large quantities of specialized resources, held in readiness to respond to a spill), as well as the leveraged contributions of the industry members themselves.
GI organizes educational workshops, exercises and training courses to improve oil spill response capability in higher risk areas. It has also promoted and enabled:
- ratification and implementation of relevant international conventions
- identification of responsible government agencies in charge of oil spill preparedness and response at national level
- approval of more national oil spill contingency plans (NOSCP) and regional plans
- improved communications between government and industry at national and regional levels.
Three different regions have established GI programmes:
- The Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Central Eurasia (OSPRI)
- West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF)
- South East Asia (GI SEA)
Ad-hoc activities are also arranged from time to time in other regions such as China and the Mediterranean.