Five South Asian countries namely Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka share the Indian Ocean and are part of the South Asian Seas Programme. With a view to protect the marine environment in the region, South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) undertook a jointly funded project to assist the region in developing a South Asian Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan in 1989. A draft Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan and other background documents were reviewed by the regional stakeholders in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 14th to 16th December 1999 and the revised plan was shared with the national governments for their concurrence.
The purpose of this Contingency Plan is to establish a mechanism for mutual assistance, under which the national Authorities of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka co-operate towards an integrated response to the marine pollution incidents either affecting or likely to affect the territorial sea, coasts and related interests of one or more of these countries, or to incidents beyond the available response capacity of each of these countries alone.
Accordingly, the revised draft plan and MoU were circulated to member countries in 2000 and so far four countries have already signed the MoU and the fifth one is in an advance stage of national approval. The status of signing of the MoU. In order to develop and update the National and Regional Oil and Chemical Spill Contingency Plans, SACEP is in the process of conducting 5 national workshops in each of the five member countries (With the financial assistance of NORAD and the IMO.).These national workshops have already been held in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Maldives and Bangladesh. A regional exercise and workshop is scheduled to be held from 2-6 November, 2015in Colombo, Sri Lanka followed by a second one. A further regional workshop in order to update and finalise the Regional Oil and Chemical Spill Contingency Plan will be held in December, 2015.
Status of MoU Signing
|Country||Status||Date of Signing|
|Maldives||Signed||13th October 2009|
|Pakistan||Signed||22nd July 2010|
|Bangladesh||Signed||27th September 2010|
|Sri Lanka||Signed||17th December, 2014|
|India||Not signed||Consultations are in process for signing MoU|
National Focal Points to facilitate national and regional oil spill contingency plan
|Pakistan: Focal Contact: DG, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. Email: email@example.com National consultant: Muhammad Muzaffar Mahmood. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bangladesh: Focal contact: Mohammad Md. Mokbul Hossain, Director, Department of Environment Email: email@example.com National consultant: Prof. Dr. Maruf Hossain. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|India: Focal Contact: Dr. R. S. Kankara Director, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai. Email: email@example.com National consultant: Dr. R. Venkatesan, NIOT, Chennai. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maldives: Focal contact: Capt. Abdul Nasir Mohamed, DG, Transport Authority, Maldives Email: email@example.com National Consultant: Capt. Mohamed Imthiyaz Email: Imthiyazmohamed@yahoo.com|
|Sri Lanka: Focal Contact: Chairman, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org National consultant: Agampodi Jagth Mendis Gunasekara Email: email@example.com|
|National workshop in Karachi, Pakistan.|
|National workshop in Channi, Tamil Nadu, India.|
|National workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka.|
|National workshop in Maldives|
|Bangladesh National Meeting|