08 July 2022, MOIG was invited by the General Secretariat for the Sea-France to a webinar titled « Improving the integrated response to pollution accident at sea and chemical risk in port (IRA-MAR) ».
The IRA-MAR project aims to support the countries from the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic regions (France, ltaly, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia) in improving preparedness for marine pollution events through an integrated approach to response at sea, on the shoreline and in ports.
The webinar gathered a wide range of stakeholders involved in marine pollution preparedness and response (governmental, agencies, private sector, scientific community, coastal communities and public) in order to inform them about the objectives, expected outcomes and work packages (The use of Unmanned Aircraft System in emergency response; identifying gas clouds from ships in ports amongst others) of the IRA-MAR project.
The webinar was opened by Denis Robin; the Secretary-General for the Sea-France; who thanked participants and provided an overview on the IRA-MAR project. Julie Rigaud-Marechal, project coordinator, presented the objectives, the contributions, the working areas and the key steps of the IRA-MAR project. The webinar also included three panel discussions animated by Julie Rigaud-Marechal and experts from many institutions, which are the following:
· Panel 1: What are the challenges in using Unmanned Aircraft Systems in emergency response? Animated by Lieutenant Colonel Pascal Pitor-SDIS 29, Lieutenant Pascal Lastenet-Marine Firefighters, Mevric Zammit-Transport Malta and Luigi Alcaro-ISPRA.
· Panel 2 : How can we enhance the land-sea interface in emergency response? Animated by Hugo Nijkamp-Sea Alarm, Arnaud Guéna-Cedre and Pablo Rey Pedrosa-MITMA.
· Panel 3: How can we strengthen regional cooperation for preparedness and response to marine pollution incidents? Animated by Florent Champion-RAMOGE, Gabino Gonzalez-REMPEC and Frédéric Hébert-EMSA.
Ludovic Schullz, Senior Advisor “Europe Environment” from the General Secretariat for the Sea-France, presented the expected outcomes of the IRA-MAR project highlighting that regional agreements are crucial in making sure this cross-border collaboration is optimized by developing common tools and communication protocols and facilitate mutual assistance. He also underlined that authorities should recognize and deal with all potential aspects of a given scenario (Holistic), and ensure all efforts of the response are well prioritized, coordinated and managed regardless of the number of the authorities involved (Integrated). He also noted that it’s important to ensure that authorities have the best available technology in an emergency scenario, relevant decisions are based on a good assessment of the situation, including the location of the affected sites and their recognition.
This webinar also provided an exchange platform to facilitate dialogue between relevant stakeholders and discuss how they can develop a methodology for an integrated approach to reinforce the land-sea interface, in response to marine pollution.