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Growing pool of trained responders in the Netherlands

A EUROWA BASIC oiled wildlife responder course was held on 8 February 2020 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, under the framework of the Dutch national Oiled Wildlife Project 2017-22.

The National OIled Wildlife Project is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water under the supervision of Rijkswaterstaat Zee en Delta. Eighteen people completed the course at the Van Hall Larestein Institute and successfully gained the qualification of BASIC oiled wildlife responder.

The trainees were mainly students from the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, and personnel and volunteers from the Paddestoel wildlife rehabilitation centre in Den Helder. The training was organised by EUROWA network member SON-Respons and delivered by experienced trainers from SON member organisations: Hetty Sinnema from Vogelasiel de Fûgelhelling in Ureterp and Monique de Vrijer from Vogelklas Karel Schot.

This was the first time that professional oiled wildlife responder training has been organised in the Netherlands for students of a higher education institute, and this particular session was designed to determine the level of interest in oiled wildlife issues by those studying coastal and marine management, with the longer term goal of their providing a trained resource to help deal with oiled birds during incidents.

It is hoped that this will continue in the future, creating a young and dynamic emergency response workforce that, together with the SON-Respons network, provides the infrastructure that underpins the national response plan and also adds to the pool of Dutch responders who are pursuing training under the EUROWA banner.

Photo: Hetty Sinnema of Fûgelhelling wildlife rescue centre delivers the BASIC training.
Photo credit: Monique de Vrijer

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