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Bernt Stedt, HELCOM RESPONSE Chair 24 March 2011, Stockholm

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Presentation on theme: "Bernt Stedt, HELCOM RESPONSE Chair 24 March 2011, Stockholm"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bernt Stedt, HELCOM RESPONSE Chair 24 March 2011, Stockholm
Oil Spill Risk Management Are we prepared for a major oil spill in the Baltic Sea? Bernt Stedt, HELCOM RESPONSE Chair 24 March 2011, Stockholm

2 Contents: The Baltic Sea Regional cooperation through HELCOM Proven preparedness in the Baltic BRISK/BRISK-RU risk assessment

3 Main concerns for the Baltic Sea
Eutrophication Pollution by hazardous substances Maritime activities The Baltic Sea is the largest body of brackish water in the world. Salinity is much lower than the ocean's and only a small number of marine and freshwater species have been able to adapt to its brackish water, which makes the food web particularly vulnerable to external pressures. Additionally its water exchange is slow - a water residence time is years, which means that the pollution remains in the marine environment for a long time. Large parts are normally ice-covered during the winter, which in addition to shallowness and narrowness, make a navigation in the Baltic Sea difficult. The four main concerns for the environment of the Baltic Sea are eutrophication, pollution by hazardous substances, impact of maritime activities and loss of biological diversity. Loss of biological diversity

4 Maritime traffic 2000 ships at any given moment
In 2009, vessels entered or left the Baltic Sea via Skaw 62,743 times - increase by 20% since 2006 21% of those ships were tankers Also heavy ship traffic through a Kiel Canal – 30,314 ships The strongest growth in shipment of oil - from the Gulf of Finland The maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea is intense, has grown remarkably during the recent years, and is predicted to grow also in the future. There are more than 2000 sizable ships at sea at any time. (the intensity of ship traffic, based on AIS, is shown on the map). In 2009, vessels entered or left the Baltic Sea via Skaw 62,743 times. This number has increased by more than 20% since Additionally, heavy ship traffic goes through a 98-kilometer long Kiel Canal linking the Baltic Sea with the North Sea. The oil transportation is predicted to increase, especially in the Gulf of Finland, due to the construction and expansion of Russian oil terminals. The amount of oil turnover in the 16 largest oil terminals of the Baltic Sea has been growing each year and reached more than 250 mln tones in 2008.

5 Shipping accidents In 2009: 105 shipping accidents
Groundings (36%) and collissions (32%) are the most common Human factor is the main cause of accidents 5 accidents resulted in oil spills This rise in shipping is due to the economical growth and the increasing oil production and transportation activities. However, it results in increasing risks of major pollution accidents, which could have a devastating impact on the marine environment, especially in the costal waters. According to HELCOM statistics there were 105 accidents in Groundings are the most common type of accidents, followed by collisions. Due to many shallow areas, especially in the Danish straits, the groundings in the Baltic Sea are more common than in other European waters.

6 HELCOM Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) - International co-operation since 1974 (new Convention signed in 1992) Main task: to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution 10 Contracting Parties (9 Baltic Sea Coastal States and the EU) Secretariat located in Helsinki, Finland The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is the regional environmental policy-maker in the Baltic Sea, acting based on one of the oldest environmental conventions in this part of Europe. HELCOM works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, including from shipping. HELCOM consists of the representatives of nine Baltic Sea Coastal States and the European Union.

7 Proven preparedness to respond to pollution incidents in the Baltic
HELCOM Response Group co-ordinates the work A number of HELCOM Recommendations covering: response to spills of oil or hazardous substances at sea, from offshore units and oil terminals requirements on emergency and response capacity airborne surveillance restricted use of dispersants development and use of drift forecasting systems HELCOM Response Manual (Vol. I Oil + Vol. II Hazardous Substances) Reporting procedures Requesting and providing assistance Command structure and communication during operation Oil sampling Co-operation on aerial surveillance HELCOM has a long record of work to improve the status of the marine environment, based on the scientific knowledge, including measures addressing sewage from cities and discharges from industries, measures addressing agriculture and shipping. There are some success stories to tell in many fields, but in my presentation I will focus specifically on preparedness to accidental oil spills which is within the core of HELCOM work. One of the HELCOM groups – the Response Group which I’m chairing – develops requirements on emergency and response capacities, airborne surveillance and joint response procedures in case of accidental spills to be commonly applied in the whole Baltic Sea region. Procedures to conduct international response operation has been put in place, in the form of the HELCOM Response Manual, including reporting system on accidental spills, requesting and providing assistance as well as solving related financial aspects.

8 Existing emergency and response capacity
A high number of emergency and sea-going response vessels, including 3 chartered by European Maritime Safety Agency New vessels to be built in coming years Satellite and aerial surveillance Oil drft forecasting tools (HELCOM Seatrack Web) The Baltic Sea countries are well equipped to respond to major pollution at sea. A high number of emergency and response vessels located around the Baltic Sea form a so called HELCOM fleet of stand-by ships which are used by HELCOM countries to assist each other in response operations. The three vessels chartered by the European Maritime Safety Agency top-up the existing national resources. Several new vessels will be built in coming year. A HELCOM oil drift forecasting tool, called SeaTrackWeb, is used by the authorities around the Baltic not only during the pollution accidents, but also in case of illegal spills, to backtrack a spill trajectory, and match it with the ships in the areas based on the information from the HELCOM Automatic Identification System.

9 Aerial surveillance in the Baltic
Co-ordinated regular surveillance activties in the whole Baltic Efficiency - development and improvement of the existing remote sensing systems Satellite surveillance in co-operation with EMSA CEPCO and Super CEPCO Flights Annual reports to HELCOM for evaluation Co-operation on aerial surveillance within the Baltic Sea area was established within HELCOM already in the late 80’s. The Contracting Parties conduct national regular surveillance outside their coastlines and jointly undertake coordinated surveillance activities to monitor main shipping routes - so called CEPCO flights (held twice per year, during which aircraft from neighboring countries maintain their flights continuously for 24 hours). This year, a Super CEPCO operation will be carried out during which flights will be maintained several days. Additionally, the Baltic Sea is covered by satellite surveillance within the CleanSeaNet satellite service of EMSA. Operational needs for satellite images in the Baltic as well as programmes of joint aerial surveillance are coordinated by a special HELCOM working group.

10 Regular exercises National and bilateral operational exercises involving response units International operational exercises with participation of all Baltic Sea States (BALEX DELTA) 2001 Denmark: 7 countries, 11 ships, 2 aircraft 2002 Latvia: 6 countries, 18 ships, 2 aircraft 2003 Finland: 5 countries, 16 ships 2004 Germany: 6 countries, 11 ships, 1 aircraft 2005 Sweden: 7 countries, 19 ships, 2 aircraft 2006 Poland: 7 countries + EMSA, 23 ships, 3 aircraft 2007 Estonia: 6 countries + EMSA, 17 ships, 1 helicopter 2008 Russia: 6 countries, EMSA, 17 ships, 2 helicopters 2009 Latvia: 5 countries + EMSA, 9 ships 2010 Klaipeda: 7 countries + EMSA, 8 vessels Main objective - every Contracting Party should be able to command a major response operation Exercising is a key to efficient response operations at sea. Several kinds of exercises are conducted under the HELCOM flag. The most famous one is the BALEX DELTA, the aim of which is to test HELCOM’s response system, command structure and communication system, as well as the coordination between the various response units of the Baltic Sea countries. Another aim is also to test response times as a prompt response can be critical, and may well prevent a serious situation developing into an environmental disaster. BALEX DELTA have been held annually since 1989 and are hosted by the Contracting Parties according to an agreed schedule.

11 Major accidental oil pollution
1990 ”Volgoneft” t. of waste oil 5 countries; more than 20 ships nearly all oil recovered at sea 2001 “Baltic Carrier” 2700 t. of oil 3 countries around 50% of oil recovered from the water 2003 “Fu Shan Hai” t. of fuel oil around 1100 tonnes of oil recovered at sea On average, 7% of all reported accidents result in some kind of pollution. Two of the five most serious accidents in the Baltic marine area have occurred since 2001 – involving “Baltic Carrier” in 2001 (2,700 tonnes of oil spilt), and “Fu Shan Hai” in 2003 (1,200 tonnes of oil spilt).

12 HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan
Adopted on 15 November 2007 in Krakow, Poland Regional programme of measures aimed at obtaining a healthy Baltic Sea, including in the response field e.g.: 2010 Mutual Plan for Places of Refuge – approach beyond national borders Strengthened regional cooperation on shoreline and oiled wildlife response To sum up I can say that the cooperation in response field is working very well in the Baltic and has gained recognition worldwide, also by other maritime organizations, like in the Black Sea region, which has applied the Baltic solutions to response procedures and exercising. In 2007 the HELCOM countries adopted the Baltic Sea Action Plan, to achieve a healthy Baltic Sea by 2021, which is a concrete programme od measures addressing all four priority areas I mentioned earlier, including to further improve maritime safety and increase response capabilities. Among the measures developed and agreed as a follow up of the BSAP, is a Mutual Plan for Places of Refuge, which is to ease granting the most suitable place of refuge to a ship in need of assistance, irrespective of countries’ borders. Another example is an expansion of the HELCOM regional cooperation to cover shoreline and oiled wildlife response.

13 BSAP - Strenthening of sub-regional co-operation in response field
Contracting Parties agreed are to: assess the risk of oil and chemical pollution and review emergency and response resources on sub-regional basis in order to ensure sufficient resources to effectively respond to ”medium size” pollution or to control a large scale pollution of the sea Launch of the BRISK and BRISK–RU projects BRISK under the EU’s Baltic Sea Region Programme (EUR 2.5 mil. allocated from the European Regional Development Fund) BRISK-RU financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers Implementation under umbrella of HELCOM Response Group Substantial resources to respond to pollution at sea do exist in the Baltic Sea region as outlined in my presentation. However, no comprehensive Baltic-wide analysis has been done so far to check whether the existing emergency and response capacities are sufficient to tackle medium-size and the largest spills of oil or hazardous substances. Such analysis is required by the HELCOM BSAP, where the Baltic Sea countries agreed that based on it, the countries will review the existing emergency and response capacities to make sure that each sub-region in the Baltic is ready to effectively tackle large pollution accidents. To fulfil these commitments, projects BRISK and BRISK-RU have been launched, co-financed by the EU and the Nordic Council of Ministers, respectively, involving all Baltic Sea countries. Part-financed by EU (European Regional Development Fund)

14 BRISK/BRISK-RU activities 2009-2012
First overall risk assessment of pollution caused by shipping accidents covering the whole Baltic Sea area based on a common methodology Recognizes the areas with highest risk for oil spills and environmental damage Identification of missing response resources needed to effectively tackle major spills of oil and hazardous substances Preparation of pre-investment plans on how the countries can jointly improve preparedness A joint pool of vessels and equipment for each sub-region Countries can share the investment burden in a cost-effective way Development of agreements between neighboring countries for joint response operations The risk assessment done within the projects is based on model by COWI and is covering the whole maritime area of the Baltic, and in my next slides I will present some first results of the assessment. Based on the risk analysis, the countries will identify missing resources and will prepare plans how to jointly fill in the identified gaps. Through these activities the project will substantially and in a concrete way contribute to the development of an appropriate level of preparedness in the whole Baltic Sea area.

15 Conclusions Cooperation on response to pollution from ships in the Baltic Sea well established Past shipping accidents in the Baltic Sea proved that the regional procedures in place are functioning The BRISK/BRISK-RU risk assessment will provide the basis for the decision on the needed investments in response resources The final results of the risk assessment will be presented on 18/20 May in Gdansk, Poland (European Maritime Day) The well established cooperation on response to pollution from ships in the Baltic Sea has served as a model followed by other regional seas conventions. This cooperation includes both EU and non-EU countries on equal footing, making it possible to apply the same standards and procedures through out the region. Response to some major accidents in the Baltic Sea proved that these procedures are operational and working in practice. The results of the BRISK/BRISK-RU risk assessment will bring additional knowledge on how well we are prepared in each sub-region of the Baltic for a major pollution at sea and will be utilized to further improve prepardness in the Baltic Sea. The full outcome of the risk analysis will be presented in May 2010 in Poland to which event you are cordially invited. (We are currently investigating possibilities of organizing the event within the frame, or back-to-back with the European Maritime Day to be held on May in Poland in Gdansk).

16 Thank you! For more information please contact:
Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Katajanokanlaituri 6 B FI Helsinki Finland

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