The Regional Workshop on Contingency Planning for Response to Spills of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) and Oil in the Marine Environment started yesterday at Officer’s Club of the General Directorate of Civil Defence.
The workshop is being organised by the Permanent Committee for Emergency (PCE), State of Qatar in co-operation with Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Representatives of the PCE and similar authorities in the Arab Gulf region are participating in the three-day workshop. The opening of the workshop was attended by Brigadier Hamad Othman Duhaimi, secretary of the PEC and a number of members of the committee.
The workshop started an address on behalf of the Director General of Public Security and chairman of PCE Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khulaifi, which was delivered by Brigadier Abdullah al Khalifa, director of Public Relations Department, Ministry of Interior and PEC member.
He thanked the MEMAC for its efforts in organising training programmes to improve the working level among all stakeholders. “The workshop comes at a time when we are witnessing an increase in risks related with maritime navigation in our region, which requires knowledge of all the required actions to address those risks”, he said.
He added that the maritime safety, protection of marine life, pollution prevention and control, achievement of maritime security and implementation of rescue work are important objectives.
“We strive to achieve and consolidate them through co-operation and mutual co-ordination. Hence, PCE is keen on organising distinctive workshops and successful training courses co-presented by a group of international experts and specialists who have experience in this area,” he said.
Captain Abdel Moneim al-Janahi, director of MEMAC, explained that the workshop comes in accordance with the decisions of the Ministerial Council of Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME). International experts and specialists in environmental conservation and protection of marine pollution are participating in the workshop which is held within the framework of co-operation between the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the MEMAC.
He noted that the workshop will contribute to update information and exchange of experiences and to understand the latest technologies used in dealing with maritime accidents of various kinds as well as international and regional conventions and protocols for marine incidents.
The workshop on the first day discussed a range of topics including introduction to response to cases of spills and the risk of HNS spills and the differences between HNS spills and oil spills, toxic effects of hazardous and harmful substances and its environmental impacts, means of transport for hazardous materials, types of maritime accidents, international maritime law and other related topics.
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