Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 20th 2013 Contents B7
Friday, December 20, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Protection of Trinidad and Tobago s wildlife was
the focus of an intensive five-day workshop hosted
by energy company bp Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT)
at Cara Suites, Claxton Bay last week.
The workshop was organised jointly by bpTT s
Regulatory Compliance and the Environment (RCE)
and Crisis and Continuity Management and Emer-
gency Response (C&CMER) teams. The Oiled Wildlife
Response Training Programme workshop attracted
BpTT puts 'oiled' wildlife
protection plan in place
Sarah Tegtmeier, Oil Programme Manager at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research,
demonstrates the proper procedures for cleaning oiled wildlife.
more than 70 participants who represented oil and
gas operators, regulatory agencies and various wildlife-
based non-governmental organisations.
Tyrone Kalpee, bpTT s vice president of Safety
and Operational Risk, made the call for greater sol-
idarity in environmental protection efforts: "This
cause depends on all the stakeholders getting together
and though not an end in itself, this workshop is a
step in that direction.
"There is a lot of passion and commitment in this
room, and we need to support one another and work
together to ensure we protect this legacy for future
generations. As we go forward together, we must
continue to collaborate, share and acquire knowledge
and develop a response plan with the hope that we
never have to use what we learn."
The workshop sessions featured contributions from
a panel of international experts, including Sarah Tegt-
meier, oil programme manager at Tri-State Bird
Rescue and Research, who assisted BP LLC with the
Macondo spill response in 2010; as well as Hugo
Nijkamp, general manager of Sea Alarm Consultants
and Paul Kelway, Global Preparedness Co-ordinator,
Sea Alarm Consultants.
Gail George, senior environmental officer, Ministry
of Energy and Energy Affairs, found the workshop
to be extremely relevant.
"An oiled wildlife response plan has never been
taken into consideration before in terms of this level
of collaboration between all stakeholders. I have to
commend bpTT for leading the way in this initiative
and we have to work together to put plans in place,
though we hope that an incident of this nature never
"In fact, with the signing of the National Oil Spill
Contingency Plan (NOSCP) in January 2013, this is
another step forward in developing local capacity to
mitigate the effects of oil spills on land and in marine
areas. We have all shared and derived a world of
information from this workshop," George said.
Nijkamp was optimistic about the initiative, "This
is an important first step toward developing a com-
prehensive wildlife rescue response to an oil spill.
These participants have been given a broad view of
what is necessary, and with the varied experiences
and expertise demonstrated over this past week, they
can work toward developing a response plan that
meets international standards. This is an exciting
start and we are all committed to working together
to preserve the environment and wildlife."
Participants were immersed in all dimensions of
oiled wildlife response, including an introduction to
the scope of developing a response plan, assessing
the local capacity for oiled wildlife response, engaging
key stakeholders in developing sustainable partnerships
and conceptualising the required scope of the NOSCP.
Apart from the technical content, persons attached
to rehabilitation centres were instructed in techniques
to remove oil from wildlife in a simulated hands-on
practical demonstration led by Tegtmeier.
Participants used carcasses of ducks to learn han-
dling, basic medical and cleaning techniques, with
the carcasses donated after to feed the ocelots at the
El Socorro Wildlife Conservation Centre in Freeport.
Taking part was Dr Adana Mahase-Gibson, who
represented a number of organisations as well as
Asclepius Green, the Trinidad and Tobago Veterinary
Association, the Wildlife Orphanage Recovery Centre
(WORC) and Environment Tobago.
"This workshop is very timely and takes the form
of a proactive response, which is critical to success
in such incidents. Given that we have a hydrocar-
bon-based economy, these risks are very real. An
impressive cadre of persons have been assembled
here by bpTT, and it is up to us now to collaborate
and continue to build upon this platform for devel-
oping a national oiled wildlife response plan," Mahase-
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