Developing joint standards and POSOW training materials

This phase saw the continuation of European oiled wildlife response exchange meetings and the start of a series of technical standards that all groups agreed to adopt and use, both in their home countries and when responding abroad. The first of these documents was an agreed European protocol, to provide a document that could be used to train interested individual organisations in science-based oiled bird rehabilitation methodology, according to global standards. The protocol also creates a strong basis for future oiled wildlife incident responses where experts from different organisations and different countries could collectively work on the basis of the same scientifically sound principles. European expert groups also began developing a joint Response Manual, defining how they would collectively respond to an incident abroad and describing the underlying preparedness structures needed to do so.  The Response Manual and the joint protocol (published in 2013) are still in use today, they have been updated to form Part A and Part B respectively of the EUROWA Standards Series.

POSOW Project

During this period, the cooperating European expert groups also turned their attention towards developing the first European standard training materials, providing a basis for interested persons or organisations in Europe to develop their skills in rehabilitating oiled wildlife. In 2012-13, Sea Alarm and a smaller group of European oiled wildlife response organisations participated in the EU-funded project POSOW, to develop oiled wildlife training materials for volunteers. The POSOW (Preparedness for Oil-polluted Shoreline cleanup and Oiled Wildlife Interventions) project was funded under the EU Civil Protection Financial Instrument and focussed on improving preparedness and response to marine pollution in the Mediterranean region, through development of four training packages – including one on oiled wildlife response, which produced a Manual for volunteers and associated training course. The package was designed to help teams of volunteers to understand and implement field wildlife response operations which have been assigned to them by authorities in charge of the response. The POSOW Manual and training course have become part of the EUROWA training portfolio and Standards series.

The POSOW project consortium was made up of:

  • Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) (coordinator)
  • Centre for Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre)
  • Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR)
  • Sea Alarm Foundation
  • Centre Vétérinaire de la Faune Sauvage et des Écosystèmes (CVFSE)
  • WWF Finland