Planning for risk: use of oil spill modelling, vulnerability assessments, and understanding of environmental effects to support spill response planning and conservation decision making across the Arctic

Date/time: December 2, 17:00-18:30

Room: San Siro 2

Session organizer: Dan Slavik, WWF Canada

“The risk of major oil spills is a serious threat for marine ecosystems, particularly those associated with sea-ice, because response can be difficult and spilled oil is likely to persist for a long time” (CAFF, 2013). Under the conference theme of “Understanding cumulative effects and managing impacts”, this panel will present some recent research on oil spill modelling, effects, and response practices from case studies and ongoing research across the Arctic.

As threats and impacts of oil spills on species and ecosystems are comprehensive and transboundary, identifying the risks and planning to minimize potential impacts require comprehensive solutions and international cooperation. Following presentations will be a panel discussion on how these results can be applied to three of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment recommendations:

  • Reduce the threat of pollutants to Arctic biodiversity by supporting the development of appropriate prevention and clean up measures and technologies;
  • Develop guidelines and implement appropriate spatial and temporal measures where necessary to reduce human disturbance to areas critical for sensitive life stages of Arctic species [and] safeguarding important habitats; and
  • Advance and advocate ecosystem-based management efforts in the Arctic as a framework for cooperation, planning and development.

Session theme: Understanding cumulative effects and managing impacts

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