Oil Pollution Preparedness, Responses and Cooperation Sensitization Workshop for NGOs and Media Corps

Sensitization Workshop for Non-Governmental Organizations and the Media Corps in Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation (OPRC) on Wednesday, 15 April 2015.

The Belize Department of Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development (MFFSD) is sponsoring a one day Sensitization Workshop for Non-Governmental Organizations and the Media Corps in Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation (OPRC) on Wednesday, 15 April 2015. The workshop is being held at the Belize Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The DOE has brought in technical assistance from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Coordinating Unit for the Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP CAR/RCU) through the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre for the Wider Caribbean (RAC-REM-REMPEITIC Caribe).  The RAC-REMPEITIC consultants are Commander Paul Lattanzi of the U.S. Coast Guard seconded to the International Maritime Organization, Dr. Elliot Taylor, the Principal and Senior Scientist at Polaris Applied Science, and Mr. Miguel Patel, technical adviser with the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF).

The objective of the workshop is to sensitize NGOs, Media, and Academia on basic information on international standards for oil spill preparedness and response.  Presentations include basic information on: 1) Causes, fate and effects of spilled oil, 2) spill response strategies, 3) contingency planning, 4) communications and media issues, 5) spill management: roles and responsibilities.

This Sensitization Workshop is part of the DOE’s on-going activities for national capacity building in Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation (OPRC), which began in December 2015 with the IMO Level II Training in OPRC for First Responders and On-Scene Commanders.  It is envisioned that this sensitization workshop will provide participants a better understanding of the actions undertaken during an emergency oil spill response.  In addition, to laying the foundation for stakeholders to be better prepared to contribute to the revision and updating of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan presently being spearheaded by the DOE.

Invitations to participate in the workshop were sent to NGOs related specifically to the marine environment, national media houses, organizations associated specifically to the tourism sector, and academia.  Participants include Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Friends of Swallow Caye, Southern Environmental Association, University of Belize Environmental Research Institute, Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA-National), Belize Audubon Society, Oceana Belize, Wildlife Conservation Society, Amandala Press, Star Newspaper, BTIA – Caye Caulker Chapter, BTIA- Toledo Chapter, The San Pedro Sun Newspaper, Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), Starstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Programme for Belize, Vibes TV and Radio.  

Media interviews for the NGO & Media Sensitization Workshop is scheduled between 12:30 p.m. to 1:30p.m at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza.  The Consultants will be available at this time for questions by the press.

Contact Persons from the Department of Environment are:

  • Maxine Monsanto, Acting Senior Environmental Officer
  • Celi Cho, Environmental Officer, Public Awareness Unit

Agenda for workshop.