The risk of oil spills will increase in coming years due to demands on space and increases in shipping.

The BE-AWARE I project highlighted that the risk of oil pollution would increase by 2020 due to increasing demand for space, caused by the development of renewable energy, and the increase in shipping as the world economy continues to recover. This increase in risk and size of spills will also be focused in the areas where the shipping density is already highest through the Channel, Southern North Sea and entrance to the Baltic.

PrestigeIn order to reduce the risk of oil spills and respond to oil pollution when it occurs it is important to identify the most effective risk reducing and response measures within the Bonn Agreement area. This is particularly important as many require investment or wider political agreement before they can be implemented. Also given the multinational impact of a large spill, such as in the Erika and Prestige incidents, it is important to consider the effectiveness of measures at the regional scale as well as the national scale.

Therefore the Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties decided to initiate the BE-AWARE II project to undertake that analysis and provide risk management conclusions for five sub regions within the Bonn Agreement Area.