Oil pollution emergency fund should be considered: Mwatile

30 Oct 2013 14:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 30 OCT (NAMPA) - Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary (PS) Peter Mwatile says Namibia should consider establishing funds which will deal with oil pollution emergencies.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Under Secretary of the ministry’s Department of Transport, Phillip Amunyela at the official opening of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GIWACAF) sub-regional workshop on liability and compensation here on Wednesday.
Mwatile urged the participants present at the workshop to come up with concrete proposals on the issue of sustainable funding for oil spill preparedness and response, as well as compensation in cases of ‘mystery’ spills and uninsured ships.
The main objective of the three-day workshop is to, through simulation exercises, train participants on the mechanisms of compensation for damage caused by oil pollution.
It also aims to increase public-private collaboration and joint action plans to tackle future problems of oil spill preparedness and response.
The training of participants will be done through the International Convention on Civil Liability for oil pollution damage (CLC 92) and the International Oil Pollution compensation funds (IOPC funds).
The workshop will be followed by the bi-annual GIWACAF conference from 04 to 08 November.
“This workshop is organised at the right time, when Namibia’s maritime administration, including oil spill preparedness and response system is in the process of undergoing reforms to enable the ministry to execute its maritime mandate efficiently,” the PS stated.
He added that as far as oil spill preparedness and response are concerned, comprehensive new legislation is being developed to implement all relevant conventions which Namibia is a party to.
Mwatile also mentioned that Namibia is currently in the final stages of developing its coastal sensitivity maps, which will be followed by an oil spill risk assessment and review of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP).
“The ministry is thus pleased to note that steps are being taken at an international level to develop a liability and compensation framework for oil pollution from offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities,” he said.