AMSA hosts regional pollution response planning workshop

Thursday 8 September 2016
From 1-2 September, AMSA hosted a workshop on the implementation of the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN) in Brisbane. The workshop aimed to improve the understanding of PACPLAN implementation in the event of a maritime pollution incident in our region, and to critically consider cost recovery arrangements.
PACPLAN workshop participants, Brisbane

PACPLAN provides a framework for cooperative regional responses to maritime pollution incidents in the Pacific region. Under this agreement, Australia is nominated as the primary point of assistance for six countries should a maritime environmental incident occur in these nations that is beyond their response capability, i.e. Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Papua New Guinea. The workshop brought together participants from maritime administrations and legislative drafting areas of these countries, along with the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Community (SPC) and academics from the University of Queensland.

All participants shared their own countries’ experiences with implementing PACPLAN, as well as many of the common challenges faced when implementing domestic legislation on liability and compensation, and marine pollution response.

The practicalities of incident response for Pacific Islands were also discussed. The workshop included a desktop exercise, where participants were given a scenario and asked to consider how PACPLAN and cost recovery arrangements would apply.