Counter Pollution Exercises

Bonn Agreement countries need to meet international and European obligations to ensure that they are prepared to respond in the event of pollution incidents or to a threat of pollution. Contracting Parties work together to ensure the knowledge, planning, training and operational testing of emergency systems is in place to ensure effective preparedness.

Within the Bonn Agreement there are several types of joint exercises (BONNEX) for co-operation in combating spillages into the sea. These are outlined in detail in Chapter 7 of the Counter Pollution Manual.

BONNEX BRAVO: Alarm Exercise

The aim of the exercise is to test the agreed notification procedures for reporting, requesting and providing assistance through the POLREP system (as outlined in Chapter 5 of the Counter Pollution Manual). This also includes the use of EU platforms such as SafeSeaNet and CECIS Marine. The exercise is held on an annual basis.

BONNEX CHARLIE: Equipment Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to test the co-operation between combating units of the Contracting Parties with respect to both communication and equipment. These exercises are generally undertaken directly between two or more countries with bordering response zones. They are not held regularly.

BONNEX DELTA: Response Exercise

This is the main counter pollution response exercise which is regularly undertaken by the Bonn Agreement. It involves all aspects of response to pollution including communication, coordination, surveillance and response at sea. Vessels and aircraft personnel from participating countries meet and are presented at the exercise briefing with a realistic counter pollution response scenario that evolves during the exercise. The exercise is usually run for 24 hours followed by a debriefing session.

SCOPE 2017

On the 25 - 29 September 2017 Norway will be hosting the Skagerrak Chemical Oilspill Pollution Exercise (SCOPE 2017).

SCOPE 2017 is a joint project between the NCA as the coordinator, and the Swedish Coast Guard, the Royal Danish Navy, the Environment Agency Island, South-East Police District Norway and the Intermunicipal Emergency Response Organisation (IUA), in Telemark. In addition, we are expecting other participating organizations during the exercise, including resources from the EU.

This will be a comprehensive exercise concerning response to oil an spill and other harmful substances that threaten human life and the marine environment. The exercise will be conducted from the 25th – 29th of September 2017 (week 39/2017) in the Grenland area, Norway. In addition to the exercise, the project also includes a planning phase in 2017 and an evaluation phase in 2018.

The NCA sees exercise SCOPE 2017 as a definite opportunity for other participating organisations to train in crises management and collaboration, during a serious vessel accident.

An Initial Planning Conference was held on the 9 and 10 Febraury. For more information visit the SCOPE 2017 website.

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Despite efforts to increase maritime safety there will always be the risk of incidents. With a combination of growing levels of maritime transportation and the expansion of other human activities, such as renewable energy development, the risks for the marine environment increase. Contracting Parties therefore aim to improve their joint response to incidents, based on risk assessments, ensuring counter-pollution activities are executed with the best available techniques and equipment.