Thursday, March 19, 2009

Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response

Amver has spent the last two days at the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response working group of the Arctic Council in, of all places, Las Vegas, Nevada. While you may wonder why an Arctic working group is meeting in Las Vegas I think I can shed some light on our meeting venue.

The topics covered by this session of the EPPR working group included:
  • An update on the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment
  • Circumpolar map of resources at risk from oil spills in the Arctic
  • Arctic Rescue
  • Amver as tool for search and rescue in the Arctic
  • Guidelines and strategies for oily waste management in the Arctic
  • US Arctic search and rescue MOU or agreement update
  • Ongoing US projects regarding radiological hazards in the Arctic
  • Election of new EPPR chair
The working group meeting, hosted by the United States, was coordinated by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration. Our meetings were held at the Atomic Test Museum, and the Nellis Air Force Base Remote Sensing Laboratory. The radiological component was well suited for our venue in Nevada and we were treated to a tour of the Nevada Test Site. The Arctic remains vulnerable to radiological incidents, among other hazards.

Delegations from Norway, Russia, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and the United States discussed the various topics affecting the Arctic. At the conclusion of our meeting the United States was unanimously elected chair of the working group.

The Arctic remains important to shipping and the Arctic nations are committed to ensuring the Arctic is safe for residents, mariners, and the environment.

Do you think Amver can play a significant role in Arctic search and rescue? What are your concerns for the Arctic?

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