European Oiled Wildlife Response Planning

The overall objective of the “European Oiled Wildlife Response Planning” project was to initiate the exchange of information and experiences between Member States to develop a set of tools and a draft international response plan by which Member States, individually and/or jointly, could achieve a higher state of preparedness for oiled wildlife incidents.
A preliminary assessment was conducted at the start of the project to determine the existing infrastructure, views and needs of Member States. Data was obtained through the project partners and appointed individuals served as national contact points throughout the process.

From the initial assessment, a series of discussion documents was produced. A European Oiled Wildlife Response Planning workshop, led by Sea Alarm, followed on 12-15 June 2006 at the Centre de Documentation, de Recherche et d'Expérimentations sur les Pollutions Accidentelles des Eaux (Cedre) in Brest, France.

The workshop provided a unique opportunity to bring together authorities from European coastal states to share lessons learnt from past oiled wildlife incidents and explore national and international solutions for effective preparedness for future incidents in Europe.Representatives from 14 countries attended the workshop, including authorities responsible for oil spill management and animal welfare issues and recognised NGOs.

One of the main conclusions of the workshop was that the level of preparedness in Europe could be improved. A number of activities, such as making effective pre-spill arrangements at national levels, were identified and listed as recommendations. Based on the outcomes of this workshop, as well as the impact assessment and rehabilitation projects, a European oiled wildlife response plan was drafted.

The plan is in reality a strategy identifying potential opportunities and listing a number of objectives and activities that that could be adopted and carried out at different national (including sub-national), regional and international (European or global) levels.  It identifies the need for proper planning to implement these activities effectively and according to best practices. The document was presented to national governments and at each relevant international platform (e.g. European Commission, Helsinki Convention, Bonn Agreement, Barcelona Convention, Copenhagen Agreement).

Project partners:

  • Sea Alarm (lead)
  • Centre de Documentation, de Recherche et d'Expérimentations sur les Pollutions Accidentelles des Eaux (CEDRE)
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
  • Istituto centrale per la ricerca scientifica e tecnologica applicata al mare (ICRAM)
  • Finnish Environment Institute (SKYE)
  • International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF)
  • Oil Spill Response


February 2006 - August 2007


  • A better understanding of the different views, experience and capacities of Member States;
  • Development of a common language and better understanding of the specific problems associated with oiled wildlife incidents by delegates from competent authorities, industry and NGOs across Europe.
  • Identification of existing international documentation on preparedness, response capacity, planning and strategy, scientific activities, etc. Where possible this information was brought together and made accessible through this website.
  • Development of a European Oiled Wildlife Response Plan that facilitates the quick sourcing and deployment of expertise, equipment and other resources in the case of future oil spill emergencies.