During the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) has furthered its efforts to enhance emergency preparedness and response capacities in
A goal of the Arctic Council’s Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (EPPR) Working Group is to contribute to the protection of the Arctic environment from the threat or impact that may result from an accidental release of pollutants (or radionuclides) as well as the consequences of natural disasters. EPPR accomplishes many of its objectives through the implementation of the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (MOSPA Agreement) and Appendix IV: Operational Guidelines that address procedures for notification and request for assistance, command and control in response operations, joint training and exercises, administrative issues and other recommended measures to facilitate an effective cooperative oil pollution incident response. The objective of the MOSPA Agreement is to strengthen cooperation, coordination, and mutual assistance among the Parties on oil pollution preparedness and response in the Arctic in order to protect the marine environment from pollution by oil.
The Marine Environmental Response Experts Group (MER Experts Group), adopted on December 8, 2016, is a group working under the direction of the EPPR with a focus on promoting the implementation of EPPR initiatives specific to the MOSPA Agreement, as well as future initiatives as determined by consensus of the EPPR membership. The MER Experts Group assesses outcomes from MOSPA exercises to develop corrective actions and recommendations to promote continuous improvement of the MOSPA Agreement and its Operational Guidelines. The MER Experts Group also makes recommendations for future exercises, workshops, and training focus areas based upon the Experts Group’s assessment of lessons learned and best practices from previous events. Finally, the MER Experts Group participates in various activities and projects specific to EPPR’s MER roles and responsibilities, coordinates with academia specific to Arctic MER, and creates alignment with other fora and working groups as related to Arctic MER initiatives.