Oil spills in the Western Indian Ocean: national contingency plans fall short

Published on 08 December 2020 in Research / Africa Report

Coordination is vital to ensure that countries can assist one another during a marine pollution incident.

Despite decades of policy work, countries party to the Nairobi Convention still have different capabilities in responding to marine pollution incidents, including equipment and personnel. During a recent oil spill preparedness workshop in Zanzibar, these countries asked for annual communication drills and joint multilateral exercises to ensure regional cooperation. To this end, adopting the draft regional contingency plan for the Western Indian Ocean and establishing a regional coordination centre are crucial.

About the author

Ernesta Swanepoel is an admitted South African attorney and holds qualifications in both marine and environmental law [BCom (Law) LLB LLM (Marine and Environmental Law)]. She serves as the focus/priority area co-leader: disaster risk management in the South African chapter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) academic group.

Cover image: IMO/Flickr

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This report is funded by the government of Norway. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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