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1997, Nuuk, Greenland

ILULISSAT MEETING 3 – 8 APRIL 199 OF THE WORKING GROUP FOR THE EMERGENCY PREVENTION, PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PROGRAM

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT & Record Of Decisions (Annex 11)

(Other annexes not included)

INTRODUCTION

The Working Group for the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response in the Arctic Program (AEPS/EPPR) met on 3 – 8 April 1997 in Ilulissat/Nuuk, Greenland, at the invitation of the Danish Environment Protection Agency.

Delegations from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America participated.

A list of delegates is enclosed (Annex 1).

During the Meeting ad hoc groups were appointed for preparing EPPR decisions on the analyses of Agreements and Arrangements and of the Effectiveness of Existing Accident Reporting Systems. Ms. Marianne Jensen, Minister for Health, the Environment and Research and Nordic Affairs, Greenland Home Rule, addressed the Meeting. EPPR visited in the course of the Meeting the Greenland Home Rule in Nuuk and was informed about the Greenland Home Rule and conditions in Greenland.

1. Opening of Meeting

    Opening remarks and greetings of welcome to Greenland and Ilulissat to the delegates were made by Hans Henrik Christensen, Deputy Director General, Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

    A list of documents can be found at annex 2.

2. Adoption of Agenda

    EPPR adopted the draft agenda (annex 3).

3. General Information on AEPS and Arctic Council

    The Chairman gave general information.

    EPPR took note of the general information on AEPS and Arctic Council.

4. Arctic Risk Assessment

    The United States, acting as Lead Country, presented a Status Report on the Arctic Risk Assessment and proposed that the Risk Analysis up-date would focus on the following: add or delete activities as appropriate review for consistency in data analysis between Arctic countries integration of scientific analysis up-dating the maps, i.e. locations of activities and adjustment of the EPPR Arctic area.

    After discussion EPPR agreed to the Status Report and to report to the Fourth Ministerial Conference that EPPR will complete the refining of the Risk Analysis on Environmental Threats to the Arctic by the following Ministerial Conference. EPPR will consider the comments expressed regarding the Risk Analysis since its completion in 1996. Information from the other AEPS Programs and other information will be received in the integration of scientific analysis (Phase II). EPPR decided to make a technical capability analysis to develop source control management and prevention strategies to meet the risks identified in particular analysis on the high risk activities in the Arctic (Phase III). EPPR considered that the results of the refining of the Risk Analysis together with the Analysis of the Adequacy and Effectiveness of Existing International Agreements and Arrangements should form the basis for the assessment of the need for further action.

5. Analysis of Agreements and Arrangements

    Canada, acting as Lead Country, presented a document on the Analysis of the Adequate and Effectiveness of Existing Arrangements.

    After discussion in an ad hoc group a revised document was presented (annex 4). EPPR decided to adopt the procedure including a questionnaire with criteria indicated in the document for the operational analysis of the adequacy and effectiveness of existing international agreements and arrangements in the Arctic.

6. Analysis of the Effectiveness of Existing Accident Reporting Systems

    The United States, acting as Lead Country, presented documentation on an analysis of emergency notification with draft objectives, methodology and an outline of the project to be conducted in three phases as well as a questionnaire. Phase I will consist of a self-analysis of the existing notification systems pertaining to the threats in the Arctic area of each country conducted by questionnaire and compilation of the results. Phase II is anticipated to be an analysis in accordance with the methodology of the notification system that would be used to notify of accidents in or impacts from another country. Phase III is to be an analysis of gaps in the notification system reported in phases I and II.

    After discussion EPPR decided to adopt the Plan for the Notification Analysis (annex 5) with the United States as Lead Country. The Goal was defined by EPPR to be to identify possible gaps in current notification systems by conducting the analysis in the three phases proposed and by using a questionnaire. Each country will fill out the questionnaire for each risk listed in the Risk Matrix and forward it to the United States by 19 May 1997, identifying a point of contact for the analysis. The United States will compile the submitted information by 9 June 1997, i.e. before the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Alta. Phase II will be concluded by December 1997, and the United States aims at presenting the results of Phase III for consideration at the 1998 EPPR Meeting.

7. Measures for Oil and Gas Accidental Releases

    The United States, acting as Lead Country, presented a draft text chapter on Preparedness and Response in the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines. The text had been prepared by a correspondence group with the United States as Lead Country. PAME had made some recommendations for editorial changes.

    After discussion EPPR decided to adopt the text on preparedness and response in annex 6 and forward this text to PAME for inclusion in the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guideline.

8. Review Shipping Activities in the Arctic

    The Russian Federation, acting as Lead Country, presented an excellent report to EPPR on the development of a strategy for ensuring the ecologically safe transportation of oil in the Arctic area. Note was taken of the documents on the development of an International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) and the system to obtain and analyze information on shipping and maritime activities in the Arctic.

    EPPR considered the development of the Polar Code of significant importance for the Arctic Environment. EPPR decided to propose that the Fourth Ministerial Conference encourages the Arctic countries support putting on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agenda for consideration the Polar Code.

    EPPR found the report to EPPR on the development of a strategy for ensuring the ecologically safe transportation of oil in the Arctic area most useful for further review of shipping activities in the Arctic.

9. Arctic Guide for EPPR

    Sweden, acting as Lead Country, presented a draft Arctic Guide Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response prepared in accordance with the outlines established at the 1996 EPPR Meeting in a correspondence group with Sweden as Lead Country, the different chapters and national information being elaborated by other Arctic countries.

    EPPR reviewed the draft and decided to invite further proposals for editorial changes to be sent to Sweden before Friday 18 April 1997, to ask Sweden to consult with each Arctic country on the national presentation with aim of getting the presentations more consistent and to accept the Swedish offer to finalize the Arctic Guide, in consultation with the Fourth Ministerial Conference.

10. Field Guide for Response in Arctic Waters

    Canada as Lead Country for the work on a Field Guide for Arctic Oil Spill Response presented the results of an informal meeting hosted by Canada on this issue in Vancouver 3 6 February 1997 and a technical proposal containing proposals for an outline, scope of work and schedule, deliverables, project contractor and costs. The informal meeting agreed on a proposal for levels of funding and a list of country contacts.

    EPPR decided to proceed with the work on a Field Guide for Arctic Oil Spill Response in accordance with the technical proposal. Canada, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark offered to contribute to the total cost of 125,000 Canadian dollars in accordance with the proposed levels of funding. The Russian Federation will tentatively contribute by hosting a possible consultancy meeting of the country contacts. Iceland will be invited to take part. EPPR agreed that the Field Guide should be accessible in the public domain and that the Arctic countries should have the copyright. Each Arctic country will be provided with data material necessary for publication in its own language. EPPR found that it was up to the Lead Country and the country contacts to coordinate and facilitate the use of available knowledge and experience in the Arctic countries in the work. EPPR decided that a draft Field Guide should be submitted for consideration at the 1998 EPPR Meeting.

    At the informal meeting in Vancouver experience and the potential for developing a Circumpolar Map of Natural Resources at Risk from Oil Spills were also discussed (see Annex 7).

    In the EPPR discussion of this issue, Norway kindly offered to conduct and finance a pilot study and also to invite experts in this area from each of the Arctic countries to a workshop. The pilot study would be carried out in consultation with AMAP and GAFF and would aim at providing the 1998 EPPR Meeting with a basis for considering the development of a Circumpolar Map of Natural Resources at Risk from Oil Spills. The costs for such a project was estimated to be 50,000 US dollars.

    EPPR welcomed the Norwegian offer and decided to bring this initiative to the attention of the Fourth Ministerial Conference.

11. Research and Development

    The Arctic countries provided information on research and development. The United States offered to mail a document describing on-going research and development activities and indicated that in recent years priority has been given to surveillance systems, human command systems and in situ burning. Sweden offered to mail information. Russia presented activities concerning bio-remediation in cold climate conditions, models for oil drifting in ice and snow conditions, in situ burning and the use of dispersants techniques in ice conditions. Norway described two of the projects conducted in cooperation with some other countries, namely Svalbard shorelines field trials and laboratory trials on oil and fires interaction (OFI) basin trials. The aim is to test different options and to investigate natural processes. Finland presented investigations of using satellite surveillance for detection of forest fires. Denmark provided information on oil and gas exploration in Greenland.

12. Involvement of Indigenous Peoples

    EPPR found it unfortunate that the Permanent Participants due to other commitments had not found it possible to participate in this year’s Meeting. It was recognized that the UNEP APELL type workshops would if possible include consideration of involvement of indigenous peoples. The Field Guide is also planned to take into account the role of indigenous peoples.

13. Exercises

    Finland, acting as Lead Country, informed about the result of an EPPR communication exercise, which was conducted 30 December 1996. Sweden, also acting as Lead Country, presented the results from a similar exercise 27 February 1997.

    In the discussion EPPR found that the EPPR activities in this field should be limited to information exchange between members of EPPR through the National Contact Points in case of significant emergencies affecting the environment in the Arctic area. Notification and assistant should, pending the result of the Analysis of the Effectiveness and Existing Accident Reporting Systems, be managed within the framework of existing international agreements and arrangements.

    Sweden undertook to arrange an exercise in the coming year.

14. Workshops and Other Activities

    Sweden presented the planned Workshop on Safe and Clean industrial Development – in cold climate and ice conditions (annex 8). Sweden also informed about the planned Nordic-Russian UNEP APELL Program type workshops in Petrosavodsk and Murmansk and the Russian invitation to participate in a workshop in Jakutsk.

    EPPR welcomed the Swedish offer to host a Workshop on Safe and Clean Industrial Development – in cold climate and ice conditions. All delegations undertook to nominate if possible speakers and other experts as participants of the Workshop by 15 May 1997.

15. Other Business

    EPPR adopted:
  • draft contributions to the elaboration of the Declaration and Conference Report for the Fourth Ministerial Conference (annex 9) a revised EPPR Work Plan (annex 10),
  • EPPR decided after invitation by Finland and Norway to hold the 1998 EPPR Meeting the week 10-14 August 1998 in Finland and the 1999 EPPR Meeting in Norway.

16. Record of Decisions

    EPPR adopted the Record of Decisions (See Annex 11 below).

17. Closure of the Meeting

    The Chairman expressed the Meetings gratitude to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the Greenland Home Rule for very pleasant and excellent arrangements and for all assistance in the organization and hosting of the Meeting. This had created the best possible conditions for a productive Meeting.

    The Chairman also expressed appreciation for the important and valuable contributions made by all delegates. Finally, the Chairman thanked the interpreter.

ANNEX 11.

Record of Decisions

EPPR decided to:

  • adopt the agenda,
  • take note of the general information on AEPS and Arctic Council
  • agree to the Status Report on the Arctic Risk Assessment and to report to the Fourth Ministerial Conference that EPPR will complete the refining of the Risk Analysis on Environmental Treats to the Arctic by the Following Ministerial Conference, make a technical capability analysis to develop source control management and prevention strategies to meet risks identified in particular analysis on the high risk activities in the Arctic area,
  • adopt the procedure including a questionnaire with criteria for the operational analysis of the adequacy and effectiveness of existing international agreements and other arrangements in the Arctic,
  • adopt the Plan for the Notification Analysis,
  • adopt the text for the chapter on Preparedness and Response in the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines and to forward this chapter to PAME for inclusion in the guidelines,
  • propose that the Fourth Ministerial Conference encourages the Arctic countries support putting on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agenda for consideration the International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code),
  • accept the Swedish offer to finalize the Arctic Guide, in consultation with the other Arctic countries as appropriate, for presentation at the Fourth Ministerial Conference,
  • proceed with the work on a Field Guide for Oil Spill Response in Arctic Waters in accordance with the technical proposal,
  • welcome the Norwegian offer to conduct and finance a pilot study on the development of a circumpolar Map of Natural Resources at Risk from Oil Spills and to bring this initiative to the attention of the Fourth Ministerial Conference for inclusion in the EPPR Work Plan,
  • welcome the Swedish offer to host a Workshop on Clean and Safe Industrial Development – in cold climate and ice conditions,
  • adopt draft contributions to the elaboration of the Declaration and Conference,
  • Report for the Fourth Ministerial Conference, adopt a revised EPPR Work Plan, hold the 1998 EPPR Meeting in the week 10-14 August 1998 in Finland and the 1999 EPPR Meeting in Norway and, adopt the Record of Decisions.