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A new phase for EUROWA – the EUROWA-2 project begins

2021 marks the start of a brand-new phase of EUROWA cooperation, with the kick-off of the EUROWA-2 project. This 2-year project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection Financial Instrument represents an important milestone in development of oiled wildlife preparedness in Europe.

EUROWA-2 aims to strengthen Europe’s capability to deal with wildlife pollution emergencies utilising a holistic and integrated pollution management system, building a stronger mutual assistance system between coastal countries and continuing to ensure the availability of a larger, more qualified European network of qualified EUROWA experts. The project is a follow-up to the earlier one co-funded by the EU in 2015-16 (“EUROWA-1”) where the EUROWA mutual assistance philosophy and training modules were developed.

The new project will engage responsible authorities from European countries to help develop structural arrangements for the proactive and integrated management of oiled wildlife response into their pollution response frameworks. The project will assist EUROWA network members in developing relationships with their authorities and engaging them in response preparedness investments. Last but not least, the project will aim to add new elements to the EUROWA training portfolio including scientific risk and impact assessment techniques and inclusion of sea turtle management in pollution incidents. This next phase will also provide a valuable opportunity to roll out a large number of EUROWA training events in Europe.

Sea Alarm is coordinating the project in cooperation with three other partners: Submon (Spain) and WWF Finland, two EUROWA Network members; and NIOZ (the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research). The partners were chosen for their complementary skills and experience to deliver the project, although they will be very much supported by the wider EUROWA network, whose contribution will be needed to make the project a real success. A total of seven work packages are included, with technical deliverables as well as meetings, training events and workshops, all planned during the 24 months of the project and enabling authorities, scientists and responders from European coastal countries to participate.

The project team has already started its work following the kick-off meeting and is considering what adjustments may need to be made for such an international project given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is undoubtedly a great step forward in EUROWA’s development and will provide a strong basis for continuing and expanding network activities. We encourage you to follow project news and updates which will be published on this website.

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