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Workshop on Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan

15 Sep 2016

MASLU workshop participantsThe TC Beirne School of Law’s Marine and Shipping Law Unit convened and facilitated a workshop on the implementation of the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN) on behalf of, and in conjunction with, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on 1 and 2 September 2016.

Marine pollution is widely recognised as one of the four major threats to the world’s oceans, and particularly in the Pacific. Spills of oil and other chemicals into the marine environment from ships and other sources, is a significant pollution threat. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, in partnership with the International Maritime Organization, has responsibility for implementation of the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Program (PACPOL). A primary mechanism for provision of assistance under PACPOL is the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN) that provides a mechanism for a number of Pacific Island States to seek assistance on a co-operative basis from Australia in the event of a marine pollution incident.

This workshop was designed to engage five of these Pacific Islands States and Australia is a discussion of the implementation of PACPLAN. The results of the workshop will allow the participating States to further consider the participation in, and implementation of, International Maritime Organisation’s maritime law conventions that will facilitate the most effective implementation of PACPLAN should a pollution incident occur in the pacific.

Participants attending the workshop were from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Australia as well as from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The workshop was designed by Professors Craig Forrest (MASLU) and Mr Matt Johnstone and Ms Alice Fenwick (AMSA) and delivered by Professor Nick Gaskell and Adjunct Professor Michael White QC (MASLU), together with speakers from AMSA, SPREP and the participating Pacific Island States.