OIL SPILL – Enhancing oil spill response capability in the Baltic Sea Region

Joonas Brandt / Finnish Red Cross
Image: Joonas Brandt / Finnish Red Cross

Finnish Red Cross is one of the partners of the project OIL SPILL, which aims to improve oil spill response capability in the Baltic Sea Region.

OIL SPILL project is led by the University of Turku and 75-85% (depending on the participating country) of the project budget is funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme of European Regional Development Fund. The project partners include 13 organizations from six countries (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark).
In addition to Finnish Red Cross and University of Turku, the other Finnish project partners are Southwest Finland Emergency Services, Neste Corporation and Finnish Environment Institute. 
The focus of Finnish Red Cross in the project is to develop national voluntary oil spill response at the shoreline. The OIL SPILL project will last 2,5 years (till the end of June 2021) and it will continue the work of the previous national projects “Volunteers in oil spill response”.

Putting the oil spill response cooperation model into practice

The OIL SPILL project work of Finnish Red Cross is led by the Project Officer in the Domestic Emergency Response Unit of FRC headquarters in Helsinki. FRC cooperates closely with other voluntary organizations, such as WWF Finland, and will plan the trainings and exercises of the project together with NGOs and authorities.
The following results are expected from FRC by the end of the project: an increased number of volunteers suitable for shoreline cleanup or support activities in the pilot area (Southwest Finland), a clear division of tasks, roles and leadership between NGOs of Voluntary Rescue Service and authorities and putting into practice the oil spill response cooperation model developed by the previous projects. This requires planned cooperation with regional emergency services.
Southwest Finland is a pilot area of the project and the best practices from the area will be shared nationally and internationally. The existing oil spill response cooperation groups of Voluntary Rescue Service and establishment of possible new groups will be supported by the project.
The aim is that the cooperation model can be used not only in combatting oil spills, but also in other major accidents. 
More information about the OIL SPILL project: Heta Hyvärinen, Project Officer, tel. +358401913393, email: heta.hyvarinen@redcross.fi