The 1st Offshore Protocol Working Group Meeting was held from 13 to 14 June 2013, in Valletta, Malta. The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention during the 17th Ordinary Meeting held in Paris 2012, had agreed “to establish an ad hoc working group coordinated by REMPEC composed of representatives of the Contracting Parties and observers from representatives of the concerned industries, relevant international organizations and MAP partners with a view to lead the work for preparing an in depth assessment and stock taking analysis of the existing practical measures in place in the Mediterranean countries with regard to Offshore activities as a baseline to measure progress towards Protocol implementation in the future” (Decision IG.20/12)*.
Over 44 participants, including representatives from 14 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention,** attended the Meeting and had the opportunity to learn from the experience of well-known regulators and experts from several governments, international organizations and operators***( See, also, the contribution of MEPIELAN E-BULLETIN to the complex issues related to implementation of the 1994 Offshore Protocol by two Insight Articles
This Meeting set up the process for the preparation of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Offshore Protocol and it agreed on: i) a wide review of the obligations under the Offshore Protocol and the drawing of a set of recommendations, including the need for the harmonization of Mediterranean approach with internationally and European recognized best practices, ii) the creation of synergies with other related Programmes and Contracting Parties’ Decisions, iii) the added value of representatives of the oil and gas industry and NGOs and the need to involve them in future activities, and finally iv) the need for detailed legal and technical information from Mediterranean countries as well as the establishment of a regular regional forum.
The 2nd Offshore Protocol Working Group Meeting is expected to be held in Athens, Greece from 6 to7 November 2013, while the part of the Offshore Protocol related to cooperation, preparedness and response to marine pollution from offshore activities will be addressed during the upcoming Regional Workshop MEDEXPOL 2013, in Athens, Greece from 5 to 6 November 2013.
* For Decision IG.20/12 see:
** Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, European Union, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain and Turkey.
*** The International Maritime Organization - International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP), the Global Oil and Gas Industry Association for Environmental and Social Issues (IPIECA), the Non-Governmental Organization Oceana, the International Centre of Comparative Law of the Environment (CIDCE), Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and ENI Exploration and Production.
**** Evangelos Raftopoulos
, “Sustainable Governance of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in the Mediterranean: Revitalizing the Dormant Mediterranean Offshore Protocol
”, MEPIELAN E-Bulletin
, Thursday, 19 August 2010 and Maria Gavouneli
“Offshore Installations: A Comprehensive Regime?
” MEPIELAN E-Bulletin
, Thursday, 4 April 2013.
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