EnSaCo Oil Spill
What was EnSaCo?
Oil transportation and other traffic in the Central Baltic Sea are growing steadily, increasing the risk of pollution from ships. The project aimed to reduce negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of an oil spill accident through rapid and efficient shoreline oil spill response.
Authorities responsible for shoreline (including archipelago) oil spill response recognized that their readiness to act was not at an adequate level and launched an initiative, the EnSaCo Oil Spill project. The project was of importance as it could substantially contribute to improving the preparedness of Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia to respond to pollution from ships in the Central Baltic Sea.
Since the spring of 2007 Estonian, Finnish and Swedish authorities responsible for shoreline & archipelago oil spill response and NGOs have developed the project in cooperation with educational institutions. Also, open sea authorities and HELCOM have strongly participated in development work. In addition to Estonian, Finnish and Swedish shoreline authorities, Russian authorities have been involved in project development as Russia has an important role in oil transportations.
The project was of strategic importance as shoreline authorities were encouraged to implement cross-border management cooperation in governmental agreements (Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM Rec.28E/12), Marine Strategy Directive and Copenhagen agreement). The project had a significant practical role in facilitating the implementation of such agreements and recommendations. HELCOM and open sea authorities followed the implementation of the project as steering group members.
The project aimed to reduce negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of an oil spill accident through developing shoreline cross-border response on a concrete operative level. The main objective of the EnSaCo Oil Spill project was to raise the level of expertise and to intensify cross-border shoreline response cooperation among authorities and NGOs in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Such practical target-oriented cooperation wasn't existed before EnSaCo project.
At the culmination of the project, cross border shoreline response among Estonian, Finnish, Swedish and Russian authorities will be on a new level and will meet the requirements of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, Recommendation 28E/12 being the most stringent of those.
Results were achieved by following concrete project results:
- An electronic “Logistical Resource Allocation Mapping” about mobilization of technical and human oil spill resources and an electronic “Sensitivity Mapping” about ecological prioritizing in oil spill response was developed and integrated as part of shoreline authorities´ management systems in all coastal areas of the Central Baltic Region of Estonia, Finland and Sweden (Russia optional) (WP2). Estonian ecologically sensitive sea areas maps are developed by Estonian Marine Institute in different EU projects and published in SmartResponseWeb. Report of Environmental Atlas covering topics about "Logistical Resource Allocation Mapping" and "Sensitivity mapping" is developed jointly in co-operation with project partners and published by MSB and SSPA.
- Several cooperation agreements are updated by having positive influence to the shoreline response authorities in the Central Baltic Region of Estonia, Finland and Sweden (WP2).
- Oiled wildlife preparedness was developed with the support of 3 practical trainings (organized in Finland, Estonia & Sweden). A manual about oiled wildlife treatment has been published in Estonian, Finnish, Swedish and English languages and rehabilitation protocols for the Baltic Sea Region were developed.
Oiled wildlife response has been integrated into rescue services contingency plans in the Central Baltic Region of Estonia, Finland and Sweden (Russia optional) (WP3).
- Practical shoreline oil spill response methods were developed by benchmarking state of the art methods and by organizing 1 hands on cross-border test exercise in Sweden (WP4). Training plan of BOILEX exercise and evaluation report were developed based on hands on cross-border exercise organized in September 2011. More about BOILEX training are available on EnSaCo homepage.
- A training manual of a shoreline hands on exercise to be realized repeatedly have been developed and presented for HELCOM RESPONSE group meeting (WP4).
- An oil spill response curricula module, implementation plan and learning materials for enhanced management level competence have been developed and published (WP5).
- Seminars and workshops: 3 international seminars and 11 workshops have been organized in Estonia, Finland and Sweden (WP5) in order to enhance management level shoreline oil spill response cooperation and competence.
The concrete objectives of the project were to:
- develop efficient operative management tools (electronic management mappings & cooperation agreements) for ecological prioritizing and for mobilization of technical and human resources in the Central Baltic Sea in order to enable rapid cross-border shoreline oil spill response cooperation (WP2),
- develop oiled wildlife response preparedness and a protocol for oiled wildlife response in the Central Baltic Sea in order to avoid an ecological disaster for- develop and test state of the art practical shoreline oil spill response methods to enable efficient response in case of an accident in the Central Baltic Sea (WP4),
- develop a Central Baltic Sea learning arena for shoreline oil spill response managers to enable continuous cooperation and enhanced shoreline oil spill response competence (WP5).
All project objectives have been designed to respond to the requirements and recommendations of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Baltic Sea Action Plan (Recommendation 28E/12) and implement the plan on a practical operative level.
Project activities included practical development work supported by international and national workshops, seminars, oiled wildlife rehabilitation trainings and a cross-border, hands-on oil spill exercise. Development work was done by Estonian, Finnish, Swedish and Russian shoreline authorities and NGOs supported by educational institutions.
The results of the project were relevant to the safe and healthy environment of the Central Baltic Sea, as all shoreline oil spill authorities of Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia are committed to the project activities either as project partners or as key stakeholders.
Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) closely follows the project and contributes to it as an additional partner and as a steering group member.
Importance for the project arises from the increase in maritime traffic (especially oil transportations) in the Central Baltic Interreg IVA Programme area. This means a growing risk of an oil spill accident. If a major accident occurs in the Central Baltic Sea, cooperation is needed in cross-border management and in the rapid transfer of human and technical resources and in wildlife response. Open sea authorities have already established a workable cooperation model. However, among Estonian, Finnish and Swedish authorities responsible for the shoreline and archipelago, cooperation has not existed but authorities have developed shoreline oil spill response at a national level. Thus, the project arises from a practical need to create new kind of operational cross-border shoreline response management cooperation concerning efficient resource utilization, environmental and socio-economic decision making and to develop oil spill response methods including oiled wildlife rehabilitation.
Finland: Eastern Uusi-Maa Rescue Services, Varsinais-Suomi Rescue Services, WWF Finland, HAAGA- HELIA University of Appiled Sciences
Sweden: Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Swedish Coast Guard, Södertörn Rescue Services, Gotland Rescue Services, Great Stockholm Fire Brigad, Söderköping Rescue Services, Norduppland Rescue Service, Norrtälje Rescue Services, Gästrike Rescue Services, Östra Götaland Fire and Rescue Service
Estonia: Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonian Rescue Board, Estonian Maritime Academy, Estonian Fund for Nature
EnSaCo project was implemented in the Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007-2013 and was partly financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by Estonian Investment Centre.