Establishment of a Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Oil Spill Preparedness and Response for Southeast Asia.
The Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism on Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response (ASEAN MoU) is based on the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), in particular, articles 5, 6, 7, and 10.
It includes details on the following areas of cooperation:
Integral to the MoU is the commitment by the ASEAN Member States to develop the ROSCP, and regular exercises on the mechanisms for regional cooperation.
The Japan Association of Maritime Safety (JAMS) and the Nippon Foundation initiated the ASEAN OSRAP (Association of Southeast Asian Nations Oil Spill Response Action Plan).
On May 20, 1993 the six ASEAN Member States, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore signed an MoU establishing the ASEAN OSRAP.
The main objective was to provide a cooperation plan for mutual assistance from Member States and relevant organisations, in the event of a major oil spill incident that exceeds the response capability of a national government. The geographic scope of the ASEAN OSRAP includes all the waters within the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of the ASEAN Member States.
Japan sponsored the OSPAR (Oil Spill Preparedness and Response) Project in 1994, though which, 1 billion Yen was donated to the ASEAN countries for the purchase of oil spill equipment to reinforce national stockpiles in 11 key locations. The OSPAR project also enabled the development of the ASEAN Oil Spill Information Network System (now defunct).
Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam joined ASEAN. They did not, however, sign the ASEAN OSRAP MoU.
The implementation of the original ASEAN OSRAP had met with challenges, as only six countries were party to the MoU. The IMO set out to revitalise the MoU by holding a National Focal Points Meeting and Workshop in 2009, hosted by Indonesia. The MoU was reviewed, following which, a draft Strategy and Action Plan (SAP) to strengthen it was agreed by the ASEAN Member States.
In October 2011, at a follow-up regional workshop funded by the IMO, policy recommendations were made on the establishment of a regional cooperation mechanism on oil spill preparedness and response, including the development of a regional action plan.
It was also agreed that the revised MoU would include all 10 ASEAN Member States within the Brunei Action Plan. This was followed up by another IMO-funded regional workshop a year later, where the MoU for the ASEAN cooperative mechanism was drafted for submission to the 24th meeting of the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (ASEAN MTWG).
On 19 Mar 2013, the 4th IMO-funded Regional Workshop for the establishment of a Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in the ASEAN Region was conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The outcome of the workshop included a revised draft of the MoU on Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in the ASEAN Region, for endorsement by the 35th session of the Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM, on 28 May 2013), and an action plan to implement provisions in the MoU.
The revised text of the draft MoU was subsequently approved during the 26th meeting of the ASEAN MTWG held in Yangon, Myanmar.
During the 28th meeting of the ASEAN MTWG in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the final text of the MoU on ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism on Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response (ASEAN MoU) was agreed.
It was subsequently signed during the 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting on 28 Nov 2014 in Mandalay, Myanmar.
Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan
The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan (ROSCP) was developed under the Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response (ASEAN MoU), which entered into force on 28 Nov 2014.
It provides a mechanism whereby ASEAN Member States can request for, and provide mutual support in response to oil spills, to the extent allowed by their resources.
The ROSCP was formally adopted in the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting on 8 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.Click here