One of the strategic aims of the Bonn Agreement Action Plan 2013-2016 is to ensure the organisation of optimum response capacities for oil pollution.

The further development of response capacities should also be based on risk assessments, gap analysis and regional and sub-regional approaches. Therefore it is essential to assess the alternatives to ensure that investments in future response and risk reducing technologies deliver the optimal effect at the regional and sub-regional scale.

Regional risk of spills in 2020 from BE-AWARE IThe BE-AWARE I project, which ran from 2012-2014, laid the ground for this analysis by assessing the risk of oil pollution both now (2011) and in the future (2020) as well as the likely size of any spills. However in order to assess which methods and technologies would be most effective in reducing and responding to oil pollution further analysis was required.

BE-AWARE II therefore modelled the outflow of oil from the spills predicted in BE-AWARE I for ten different response or risk reducing scenarios, taking into consideration the hydrodynamics of the North Sea region. This was combined with an analysis of the environmental and socioeconomic vulnerability of the region to assess the impact of the different scenarios. Based upon these, and the cost of implementing the measures, risk management conclusions were developed for each of the five project sub-regions.

The project was a two-year initiative (2013-2015), co-financed by the European Union (DG ECHO), with participation from the Bonn Agreement Secretariat, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and co-financing from Ireland and Germany.