A two-day bilateral exercise took place between Congo and Gabon at the beginning of last week (14-15 Sept). This exercise was organised within the framework of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF Project), a partnership between IMO and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues. OSRL is a key technical partner of the GI WACAF project and provides important knowledge and expertise to help raiselevels of oil spill preparedness under an established partnership framework in the region. The event gathered delegates from different ministries and agencies as well as representatives from the Oil & Gas industry. The Department of Environmental Affairs of Gabon and the Ministry of Transport, Aviation and Shipping of the Congo hosted the exercise simultaneously.
The exercise was carried out in Pointe-Noire, Congo and Libreville, Gabon to test the lines of communication in case of a trans-boundary oil spill incident. The exercise, which was conducted in real-time with a prearranged script, simulated an oil spill incident impacting the Gabonese and Congolese coastlines. The objective was to identify gaps in oil spill contingency plans in both countries and help improve bilateral communication procedures in the case of a real trans-boundary oil spill incident between Gabon and Congo. The exercise also sought to encourage the sharing of technical information to better coordinate the response as well as to initiate discussions on topics such as mutual aid and allocation of resources.
A full report will be made available on the new GI WACAF website in the coming weeks.