Guyana and 14 other Caribbean territories are participating in a series of oil spill response training which is being funded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The event, held in St. Kitts and Nevis, include the other nations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
The Guyana Standard understands that participants from the 15 countries will be taught the tactical aspects of spill preparedness and response, and applying incident management systems to assist effective coordination of spill response.
The IMO notes that this training course supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14 – Life Below Water which speaks to developing capacity to protect marine and coastal ecosystems.
The course is taking place under the auspices of REMPEITC-Caribe, the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre for the Caribbean, which was set up under the United Nations Environment’s Regional Seas Programme for the Caribbean.
Furthermore, the event is showcasing the success stories of several countries in ratifying relevant international preparedness and response conventions, adopting national oil spill legislation and developing oil spill response capacity.
Last year, Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge noted that Guyana signed up to a host of IMO treaties supporting safe, secure and clean international shipping. The treaties cover a wide variety of topics including marine pollution, dumping waste at sea and responding to pollution incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances.
Guyana also ratified two key IMO measures designed to preserve bio-diversity – the Ballast Water Management Convention and another on use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships hulls – as well as others covering unlawful acts against the safety of navigation and removing wrecks from the seabed. It also signed four instruments covering liability and compensation. In all, Guyana ratified 11 IMO instruments.