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Oiled wildlife response workshop and EUROWA training held in Poland

In September, Sea Alarm, in cooperation with WWF Poland, presented a National Workshop on Oiled Wildlife Response Planning in Poland, followed by a EUROWA Basic Response training.

The one day workshop was attended by 32 representatives from Poland’s national authorities, the oil and gas industry, and non-governmental organisations, all brought together by WWF Poland.

Led by Hugo Nijkamp (Sea Alarm and HELCOM Expert Working Group on Oiled Wildlife Response) with support from Claude Velter (Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend), the attendees were encouraged to strengthen relationships between them and their respective organisations, and to further elaborate the details of Poland’s current Oiled Wildllife preparedness plan for oiled wildlife response.

Triggered by some realistic scenarios presented by Sea Alarm, the workshop participants discussed the roles of various response organisations, present and potential cooperative activities and opportunities for improving wildlife response preparedness in the country. At the end of the workshop the attendees expressed their interest in further actions, including acquiring relevant equipment, and participating in training and exercises.

On the weekend following the workshop, two EUROWA Basic Course training sessions, were given by Claude and Dr. Agnieszka Czujkowska (Veterinarian, Warsaw Zoo). The EUROWA Basic Course trains personnel from relevant organisations to be able to provide initial rescue and supportive care for oiled wildlife until experienced responders arrive.

A total of 43 people qualified as Basic Responders after these sessions. This greatly enhances the response capabilities within the country and sets the stage for the new Basic Responders to be able to take further courses to respond at more advanced levels within the EUROWA framework.

WWF Poland provided local organisational support for both the workshop and two training sessions, as well as covering Dr. Czujkowska’s expenses.

Sea Alarm also gratefully acknowledges Aramco’s financial support for the continuation of the EUROWA programme to create a network of individuals and organisations capable of providing coordinated response to oiled wildlife throughout Europe.

Participants included personnel from the following agencies and organisations:

  • Regional Fire Department in Szczecin
  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Harbour Fire Department in Szczecin and Świnoujśćie
  • LOTOS Petrobaltic S.A.
  • General Directorate for Environmental Protection
  • Regional Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Gdańsk
  • Morska Służba Poszukiwania i Ratownictwa
  • Maritime Agency for Search and Emergency
  • “Nadmorski” Landscape Park in Władysławowo
  • Regional Fire Department in Gdańsk
  • Polish National Fire Department
  • Society for Owl Protection (NGO)
  • Marine Office in Słupsk
  • Marine Office in Gdynia
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