Intergovernmental conventions, organizations and projects

Oil companies' associations:

Tanker owners and classification societies:

Response companies:

Ports associations: IAPH

Environmental organizations:

Agenda 21 • World Summit on Sustainable Development • CSD
Agenda 21: Agenda 21 is the comprehensive plan for global, national and local action by organizations of the United Nations system, governments, and major groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests, were adopted by 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro.
Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 deals with the protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas (including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources). Chapter 18 deals with freshwater (including the management of rivers and lakes). Chapter 21 deals with solid waste ("all domestic refuse and non-hazardous wastes such as commercial and institutional wastes, street sweepings and construction debris. In some countries, the solid wastes management system also handles human wastes. Environmentally sound waste management is concerned not just with safe disposal or recovery but also with the root cause of the problem, such as unsustainable production and consumption patterns").
Commission on Sustainable Development: The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of the UNCED; to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. See also more information on the Sustainable Development Web Site, including information on ocean and seas; and freshwater.
Johannesburg 2002 Summit (WSSD): Issues related to the protection of the marine environment are included in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in 2002 at Johannesburg.
The Plan contains a number of references to the need for more renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced energy technologies, including advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and centralized, distributed and decentralized energy systems. Explicit or implicit references to oils and marine oil pollution are made in Paragraphs 20, 32 and 34:
  • "Strengthen and facilitate, as appropriate, regional cooperation arrangements for promoting cross-border energy trade, including the interconnection of electricity grids and oil and natural gas pipelines."
  • "Support efforts, including through provision of financial and technical assistance to developing countries, with the involvement of the private sector, to reduce flaring and venting of gas associated with crude oil production."
  • "Advance implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land -based Activities 25 and the Montreal Declaration on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land -based Activities, with particular emphasis during the period from 2002 to 2006 on municipal wastewater, the physical alteration and destruction of habitats, and nutrients."
  • Enhance maritime safety and protection of the marine environment from pollution by actions at all levels to: (a) Invite States to ratify or accede to and implement the conventions and protocols and other relevant instruments of the International Maritime Organization relating to the enhancement of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment from marine pollution and environmental damage caused by ships, including the use of toxic anti-fouling paints, and urge the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to consider stronger mechanisms to secure the implementation of IMO instruments by flag States."

See also the sector status report prepared by the oil and gas industry (through the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers [OGP] and International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association [IPIECA]) for the Johannesburg Summit.

Law of the Sea Convention
The Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which entered into force in 1994, embodies and enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole. Today it is the globally recognized regime dealing with all matters relating to the Law of the Sea.
The Oceans and Law of the Sea web site includes the full text of the Convention, as well as information on Marine Resources and Marine Environment. There is also information on Settlement of Disputes; links to Documents and Publications; Education and Training; and a search function to all Oceans and Law of the Sea documents.

Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC)
Methane is included as one of the greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). According to the Protocol, the emissions of greenhouse gases should be reduced by five per cent by the year 2012, based on the emissions in 1990. The oil and gas sector is included among those sectors/categories within which measures should be taken to achieve this goal. The Kyoto Protocol has not yet (January 2004) entered into force.

UNEP • Regional Seas Programme • UNEPDTIE • UNEP-WCMC • OEF
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is built on a heritage of service to the environment. Established as a follow-up to the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP is the environmental conscience of the United Nations system, and has been creating a basis for comprehensive consideration and co-ordinated action within the UN on the problems of the human environment. Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
UNEP GPA: The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP GPA) was adopted by 108 countries in 1995 (Washington Declaration). The Programme is a global recognition of the fact that the major threats to the health, productivity and biodiversity of the marine environment result from human activities on land — in coastal areas and further inland.

Much of the pollution load in the oceans originates from land-based activities, including municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes and run-off, as well as atmospheric deposition. These contaminants affect the most productive areas of the marine environment, including estuaries and near-shore coastal waters. The marine environment is also threatened by physical alterations of the coastal zone, including destruction of habitats of vital importance to maintain ecosystem health. One of the major objectives of the GPA is to support and facilitate the implementation of land-based sources/activities components of the various UNEP Regional Seas Conventions and Action Programmes. The UN Environment Programme is responsible for co-ordinating and catalysing the implementation of the Programme. For this purpose UNEP has established a GPA Co-ordination Office located in the Netherlands.

GPA has recently published a series of reports with regional overviews of land-based sources and activities. These are available on-line on the GPA document library. Marine oil pollution is dealt with in several of these.
UNEP Regional Seas Programme: The UNEP Regional Seas Programme was initiated in 1974 as a global programme implemented through regional components. It includes 14 regions and five partner seas with more than 140 coastal states and territories. It is an action-oriented programme and focuses not only on the mitigation and elimination of the consequences but also on the causes of environmental degradation. The focus of work has gradually shifted from protecting the marine environment from pollution to striving for sustainable development of the coastal and marine environment through integrated management. An important accomplishment is the creation of regional mechanisms (conventions and action plans) for cooperation between governments and commitment to shared goals.
UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics: UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) was created in 1998 and brought together the former UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre, Industry and Environment Programme Activity Centre, UNEP Chemicals, and Economics, Trade and Environment Unit in an attempt to provide integrated responses to industrial and urban issues.

UNEP–World Conservation and Monitoring Centre: The UNEP—World Conservation and Monitoring Centre (WCMC) compiles a large amount of information relating to marine and coastal environments and their conservation. Increasingly, this information is managed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Particular attention is devoted to mapping sensitive coastal ecosystems and this information is of interest to oil companies for oil spill emergency response and contingency planning.
UNEP Offshore Oil and Gas Environment Forum: The Offshore Oil and Gas Environment Forum web site is a medium to locate and disseminate environmental information concerning the sustainable development of the offshore oil and gas industry. The site is intended to provide "a roadmap to guide the visitor to existing information sources". See also the Environmental Regulatory Frameworks for the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.

MARPOL 73/78 Convention • International Maritime Organization (IMO)
MARPOL: The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Shipping (MARPOL 73/78) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978, respectively, and has been updated by a number of amendments through the years.

MARPOL 73/78 governs the design and equipment of ships; establishes systems of certificates and inspections; requires states to provide reception facilities for the disposal of oily waste and chemicals. It covers all the technical aspects of pollution from ships, except the disposal of waste into the sea by dumping, and applies to ships of all types, although it does not apply to pollution arising out of the exploration and exploitation of seabed mineral resources.

MARPOL 73/78 regulates what kind and quantities of polluting substances that ships may discharge into the sea, taking into account the ecological sensitivity of different sea areas. Six Annexes to MARPOL 73/78 cover regulations for specific kinds of pollution. The regulations concerning oil and oily wastes are included in Annex I, and air pollutants in Annex 6.

See also, for example, Tanker safety - preventing accidental pollution and Responding to oil spills.

IMO: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of the MARPOL Convention. IMO is the UN specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships. IMO also provides the secretariat for other marine conventions, including the London Convention, the Intervention Convention; the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC); and the SOLAS Convention. •• See also the IPIECA/IMO Global Initiative .
Oil Pollution Manual: The IMO Oil Pollution Manual provides a useful guide for governments of developing countries and for those persons directly associated with the sea transportation and transfer of oil. The manual is divided into six sections on Prevention, Contingency Planning, Salvage, Combating Oil Spills, Administrative Aspects of Oil Pollution Response, and Guidelines for Sampling and Identification of Oil Spills. See this and other IMO publications on maritime environmental protection.
Dispersant guidelines: IMO/UNEP Guidelines on Oil Spill Dispersant Application, including Environmental Considerations, provide up-to-date information on the use of oil spill dispersants. They are intended primarily for use by Member Governments and other oil spill responders and should be read with the Manual on Oil Pollution.

Intervention Convention • IMO
The 1969 Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (Intervention Convention) entered into force in 1975. It affirms the right of a coastal State to take such measures on the high seas as may be necessary to prevent, mitigate or eliminate danger to its coastline or related interests from pollution by oil or the threat thereof, following upon a maritime casualty. The 1973 Protocol extended the Convention to cover substances other than oil. The lists of substances covered by the Convention have been amended twice in 1991 and 1996. The IMO provides the secretariat for the Convention.

London Convention • IMO
The 1972 London Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, LC, formerly referred to as the London Dumping Convention) entered into force in 1975. The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention has still not entered into force, but is expected to do so in 2004 or 2005. When it does it will replace the 1972 Convention. The IMO provides the secretariat for both agreements.

The purpose of the 1972 London Convention is to control all sources of marine pollution and prevent pollution of the sea through regulation of dumping into the sea of waste materials. A so-called "black list" and "grey list" approach is applied for wastes, which can be considered for disposal at sea according to the hazard they present to the environment. For the black list items dumping is prohibited. Dumping of the grey-listed materials requires a special permit from a designated national authority under strict control and provided certain conditions are met. All other materials or substances can be dumped after a general permit has been issued.

The objective of the 1996 Protocol is to protect the marine environment from all sources of pollution. Contracting Parties shall take effective measures to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate marine pollution caused by dumping or incineration at sea. The purpose of the Protocol, which will eventually replace the Convention, is similar to that of the Convention, but the Protocol is more restrictive: application of a "precautionary approach" is included as a general obligation; a "reverse list" approach is adopted, which implies that all dumping is prohibited unless explicitly permitted; incineration of wastes at sea is prohibited; export of wastes for the purpose of dumping or incineration at sea is prohibited. Extended compliance procedures and technical assistance provisions have been included, while a so-called transitional period allows new Contracting Parties to phase in compliance with the Protocol over a period of five years, provided certain conditions are met.

See also descriptions of the relationships between the London Convention and the MARPOL Convention and the UNEP GPA, respectively.

International Bunker Oil Pollution Convention • IMO
The 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage has not yet entered into force. It was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers. It applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and in exclusive economic zones of States Parties. It provides a free-standing instrument covering pollution damage only. The IMO provides the secretariat for the Convention.

International Civil Liability Convention • IMO

The 1969 Civil Liability Convention, CLC, as amended by the 1992 protocol (now the 1992 Convention), entered into force in 1996 (International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage. It covers those who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships. The Convention covers spills of cargo and/or bunker oil from laden, and in some cases unladen, sea-going vessels constructed or adapted to carry oil in bulk as cargo (but not to dry cargo ships). It places strict liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged. The Protocol widened the scope of the Convention to cover pollution damage caused in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or equivalent area of a State Party. It covers pollution damage but environmental damage compensation is limited to costs incurred for reasonable measures to reinstate the contaminated environment. It also allows expenses incurred for preventive measures to be recovered even when no spill of oil occurs, provided there was grave and imminent threat of pollution damage. The IMO provides the secretariat for the Convention.

1992 Conventions on Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage. (Texts of the 1992 Civil Liabilty Convention and the 1992 Fund Convention = the consolidated texts of the 1969 Civil Liability Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention as amended by the 1992 Protocols)

See also ITOPF info (tanker owners) on the Civil Liability Convention and Fund Conventions.

International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds 1971 and 1992
The IOPC Funds provide compensation for oil pollution damage resulting from spills of persistent oil from tankers. The Funds are part of an international regime of liability and compensation for oil pollution damage caused by oil spills from tankers. Under the regime, the owner of a tanker is liable to pay compensation up to a certain limit for oil pollution damage following an escape of persistent oil from his ship.
  • See info on compensation in the cases of the 1999 Erika and 2002 Prestige tanker accidents.
  • See also ITOPF info (tanker owners) on the Civil Liability Convention and Fund Conventions.
  • The IOPC Fund 1992: Brochure!

There are two Funds: the 1971 and the 1992 Fund. These two intergovernmental organisations, with a joint Secretariat, were established at different times, have different maximum amounts of compensation, and had different Member States. The 1971 International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage ceased to be in force in May 2002 and therefore has no Member States. It will continue to deal with a number of incidents which occurred in 1971 Fund Member States before that date. The 1992 International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Oil Pollution Damage(see above: Civil Liability Convention) entered into force in 1996. The 1992 Protocol (new Convention) replaces the 1971 Convention.

The IOPC Funds are financed by levies on certain types of oil carried by sea. The levies are paid by entities which receive oil after sea transport (any person who has received during one calendar year more than 150,000 tonnes of crude oil or heavy fuel oil in a State Party), and normally not by States.

OPRC Convention • IMO
The 1990 International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 90) entered into force in 1995. Parties to the OPRC are required to establish measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in co-operation with other countries. Ships are required to carry a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan, the to be developed by IMO. Operators of offshore units under the jurisdiction of Parties are also required to have oil pollution emergency plans or similar arrangements which must be co-ordinated with national systems for responding promptly and effectively to oil pollution incidents. Ships are required to report incidents of pollution to coastal authorities and the convention details the actions that are then to be taken. The Convention calls for the establishment of stockpiles of oil spill combating equipment, the holding of oil spill combating exercises and the development of detailed plans for dealing with pollution incidents. Parties to the Convention are required to provide assistance to others in the event of a pollution emergency and provision is made for the reimbursement of any assistance provided. The IMO provides the secretariat for the Convention.

Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention • IMO
The 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) entered into force in 1980. The main objective of SOLAS is to specify minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships, compatible with their safety. Flag States are responsible for ensuring that ships under their flag comply with its requirements, and a number of certificates are prescribed in the Convention as proof that this has been done. Control provisions also allow Contracting Governments to inspect ships of other Contracting States if there are clear grounds for believing that the ship and its equipment do not substantially comply with the requirements of the Convention. This procedure is known as Port State control. The current Convention includes Articles setting out general obligations, amendment procedure etc., followed by an Annex. The IMO provides the secretariat for the Convention.

The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) is a multidisciplinary body of independent experts nominated by the Sponsoring Organizations (IMO, FAO, UNESCO-IOC, WMO, WHO, IAEA, UN, UNEP). Its mission is to provide advice to the Sponsoring Organizations, at their request, on pollution and other problems that face marine and coastal environments. GESAMP activities include the preparation of an assessment report "The State of the Marine Environment: Current Major Issues and Emerging Problems", which considers the degradation of coastal ecosystems and habitats, over-fishing and fishing of "under-utilised species", threats from alien species, aquaculture as a source of environmental problems, pressure from tourism and a reduction of marine biodiversity.

A report on land-based sources and activities affecting the quality and use of marine, coastal and related freshwater environments (including oil-related issues) has recently been published, as well as a report on threats to the marine environment ("A Sea of Troubles"). The report "Impact of Oil and Related Chemicals and Wastes on the Marine Environment" (GESAMP Report 50) was published in 1993 (not available on-line). A study on estimates of oil entering the marine environment from sea-based sources is presently being conducted by a GESAMP Working Group.

GEF International Waters: [UNEP] • [World Bank] • [UNDP] • [UNIDO]
GEF: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an independent, multilateral financing mechanism created in 1991 to address global environmental issues that do not normally get funded through national, bilateral, and international finance.

With GEF funds, developing countries and nations transitioning to market economies can carry the added costs of making planned projects environmentally friendly and finance regional approaches to multinational problems. GEF funds projects in four programme areas: Climate change; Biological diversity; The ozone layer: and International waters (> go to Focal Area: International Waters). GEF is the leading multilateral entity working to reverse the degradation of aquifers, basins, lakes, oceans, rivers, and wetlands of international significance. In the GEF Operational Strategy, four major areas of concern related to international waters are identified: Degradation of the quality of transboundary water resources; Physical habitat destruction; Introduction of non-indigenous species; Excessive exploitation of living and non-living resources.

Several UN organizations are GEF implementing agencies:

UNEP: UNEP is responsible for the implementation of a number of projects within the GEF Focal Area "International Waters", The project list includes 23 projects, including projects that deal with marine oil pollution.

World Bank: The World Bank projects within "International Waters" currently comprise 23 projects, several of them relevant to the issue of marine oil pollution.

For World Bank GEF International Waters: go to Focal Area: International Waters. The World Bank views the management of freshwater, coastal and marine resources as a continuum — from the upper reaches of a watershed, flowing into rivers and to the confluence with the coastal zone and the sea. The integration of the "environmental dimension" of these connected resources has been an important aspect of the Bank's work, which is realized through strategic studies, regional programs, projects and advisory services. At the regional level the World Bank, in cooperation with a range of partners, is undertaking activities to support management of a number of sea areas. At the national level, coastal zone management activities are being supported in a diversity of countries. The World Bank is also a founding member of the International Coral Reef Initiative, and other initiatives for coral reef and mangrove habitats, marine protected areas and integrated coastal management.

UNDP: UN Development Programme GEF projects within "International Waters" aim at achieving a comprehensive, ecosystem-based approach to the sustainable management of international waters and to incorporate both developmental and ecological needs. UNDP-GEF programmes under International Waters include a large number of regional and global projects.

See also the UNDP brochure on international waters.

UNIDO: The UN Industrial Development Organization is the executing agency for some GEF-funded "International Waters" projects in, e.g., the Gulf of Guinea and Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

International Association of Oil & Gas Producers
The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) is the worldwide association of oil and gas companies involved in exploration and production. Members include private and state-owned oil and gas companies, national associations and petroleum institutes. The OGP Environmental Quality Committee was formed in 1977, and its key role is to coordinate and represent the international oil and gas exploration and production industry on environmental issues of international significance.

World Petroleum Council
The World Petroleum Council (WPC) was founded in 1933. It is non-political and "provides a forum for discussing the issues facing the oil industry on a worldwide basis" . The WPC is "dedicated to the application of scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, to technology transfer and to the use of the world's petroleum resources for the benefit of mankind". The 59 member countries represent over 90 per cent of the world's major oil and gas producing and consuming nations of the world. Each country has a national committee made up from representatives of the oil and gas industry, academia and research institutions and government departments.

Oil Companies International Marine Forum
The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies having an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil and oil products. The OCIMF mission is "to be the foremost authority on the safe and environmentally responsible operation of oil tankers and terminals, promoting continuous improvement in standards of design and operation". The primary objective of OCIMF are" the promotion of safety and prevention of pollution from tankers and at oil terminals". An important contribution to the overall safety of the industry is the role that OCIMF plays in producing technical and operational guidelines, either by itself or in co-operation with other industry associations. OCIMF has produced more than 50 such guidelines.

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Association
The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Association (IPIECA) was established in 1974. It is a voluntary non-profit organization whose membership includes both petroleum companies and associations at the national, regional or international levels. Separate working groups address global environmental issues related to the petroleum industry: oil spill preparedness and response, global climate change, biodiversity (with case studies from various regions), fuel quality and vehicle emissions, and human health. IPIECA also helps members identify new global environmental and related issues and assesses their potential impact on the oil industry.

Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs
"During the mid nineteenth century shipowners found themselves with liabilities which their traditional hull underwriters (Lloyds) were unable or unwilling to cover. In order to solve the problem groups of shipowners formed themselves into mutual associations and agreed to share each other's claims. These early organisations have now developed into thirteen Mutual Insurance Associations or so-called P&I Clubs, which between them insure the liabilities of some 95% of the world's ocean going tonnage. Mutual The P&I Clubs all operate on a mutual or non-profit basis aiming to call up only sufficient money in each year to meet costs, expenses and claims for that year. There are no shareholders and the shipowner members of the Association insure each other. The thirteen P&I Clubs co-operate in two important areas. First the Clubs themselves share claims with each other and buy high levels of reinsurance on a collective basis. This enables each Club to provide much higher levels of cover than are normally available in the commercial market. The insurance thus operates in three tiers, firstly the Club will pay claims of up to USD 5 million, secondly the Pool of all Clubs will pay the next USD 25 million and thirdly the claims excess of USD 30 million (5+25) are reinsured as one collective contract which is said to be the biggest liability reinsurance contract in the world. The second area of co-operation is in matters of common interest, such as new legislation or discussions at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) or standard shipping contracts."

International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation
The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) is a non-profit making organisation, funded by the vast majority of the world's shipowners. ITOPF offers a wide range of technical services, the most important of which is responding to oil spills. Technical advisers from the organisation have attended on-site at over 450 spills in more than 85 countries. See info on:
  • News (espcially on recent tanker accidents)
  • ITOPF's series of Country & Regional Profiles provides a brief overview (regularly updated) of the oil spill response arrangements and clean-up resources in 160 maritime nations. Each Profile gives details of the spill notification point; command structures for both at-sea and on-shore response; the availability of government-owned and privately-owned equipment; and the status of relevant international conventions. ITOPF Country Profiles include information on the national agencies responsible for emeregency response, as well as on which international conventions and agreement the country has adhered to.
  • Historial data (numbers, sizes and causes of spills).
  • Fate and effects (behaviour and impact of spilt oil).
  • Cleanup techniques.
  • Response strategies.
  • Contingency planning.
  • Costs of oil spills.
  • Compensation (international conventions and national legislation).

International Association of Independent Tanker Owners
The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) was formed in 1970 and represents independent tanker owners "ensuring that the oil that keeps the world turning is shipped safely, responsibly and competitively". The organisation has more the 230 member companies in 37 countries. It has a Safety, Technical and Environment Committee, the aims of which include to promote safety at sea and the protection of the environment through communication and experience sharing; and to advise on aspects of safety, environmental protection operation of tankers and training in order to promote efficient and professional ship operation. The Marine, Environment and Chemical Section includes a number of issues relating to marine oil pollution, but much of the information is restricted and for INTERTANKO members only.

International Association of Classification Societies
Members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) have a dual role. They "deliver classification services by providing third-party engineering analyses followed by periodical verification of the ship's hull structure and mechanical and electrical system. They also provide certification in accordance with various international and national requirements." A ship built in accordance with a Member Society's Rules and/or Regulations, and fulfilling the applicable stability requirements, will be assigned a class in the Register Book of the respective Society. More than 90 per cent of the world's cargo-carrying ships are covered by the classification design, construction and through-life complicance rules and standards set by the ten Member Societies and two Associates of the IACS.

International Oil Spill Conference
The purpose of the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) is to create a global colloquium for public, government and business ideas addressing all aspects of oil spills impacting the environment. Its goal is to "promote an international exchange of information and ideas dealing with spill prevention, planning, response and restoration processes, protocols and technology; and to promote international sharing of best practice as it relates to management of the varied impacts of oil spills and their aftermath". The next Conference will be held in May 2005, on the theme "Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Restoration - Raising Global Standards".

International Salvage Union
The member companies of the International Salvage Union (ISU) — with the motto "Keep the pollutant in the ship!" —"provide essential services for the world's maritime and insurance communities". Members are engaged in marine casualty response, pollution defence, wreck removal, cargo recovery, towage and related activities. See, for example: World Salvage DirectoryPollution Defence Casualty Salvage.

International Directory of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors and Response Organizations
The purpose of the International Directory of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors and Response Organizations is to list companies and response organizations that can respond in an emergency to assist with an oil spill. The list includes contractors worldwide (by country or U.S. state) with equipment such as booms, skimmers and vacuum trucks, as well as spill management contractors that provide emergency technical support. A comprehensive list of links also to oil spill control associations, wildlife rescue associations, national resources (programmes, organizations), oil issues discussion groups, oil spill publications and news, oil industry associations, and organizations for health, safety and training. Also a photo gallery with images of oil spills and equipment for oil clean-up.

Oil Spill Response Limited
The Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) was established in 1985 as an industry resource. It is owned by 26 of "the most responsible and committed oil companies". The OSRL objective is to "meet oil spill response, training and consultancy needs on a global basis". Also links to ohter international oil industry response organizations (East Asia, Australia, Caribbean, U.S., Japan, etc.)

International Association of Ports and Harbours
Since its inception, the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) has "served the global port industry and formed a global alliance of ports and harbors over the past decades". Being the World Ports Association, IAPH comprises some 230 regular members, leading ports in 89 countries, who are public port authorities, private port operators and government agencies.

Oilwatch is an international network of environmental, human rights, religious, and local organizations. The network "supports and strengthens local initiatives in the struggle against negative impact of oil and gas exploitation in tropical countries, as well as educates and raises the consciusness of the general public, politicians and the oil industry, on a globl level." Oilwatch has member organisations in more than 50 countries in all parts of the world.

Oilwatch es "una red de resistencia a las actividades petroleras en los países tropicales. La red Oilwatch nació inspirada en la necesidad de desarrollar estrategias globales de las comunidades afectadas por actividad petrolera y de apoyar los procesos de resistencia de las comunidades que no quieren ver sus territorios afectados, trabajar por la sustentabilidad y los derechos colectivos".

Greenpeace International has been active in campaigns on decomissioning of oil platforms, especially the Brent Spar, in the North Sea, and in protests agains sub-standard oil tankers.

Rainforest Action Network
Rainforest Action Network works "to protect the Earth's rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action". See the publication on oil exploitataion: Drilling to the Ends of Earth.