1/11/2018 3:32:58 PM News

Arctic Preparedness Platform for Oil Spill and other Environmental Accidents (APP4SEA)


This century has brought unprecedented interest in the Arctic resources, turning the region from the world's unknown periphery into the center of global attention.

Within the next 50 years, local coastal communities, their habitual environment and traditional lifestyle will undergo severe changes, starting from climatic perturbations and ending with petroleum industrial intervention and increased shipping presence.

The APP4SEA project, financed by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme will contribute to environmental protection of the Arctic waters and saving the habitual lifestyle of the local communities. It will improve oil spill preparedness of local authorities and public awareness about potential oil tanker accidents at sea.

Led by the University of Oulu, the project includes partners from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Environmental Research Institute UHI, Scotland (ERI). APP4SEA aims to pool best practice in oil spill response technologies, and to support coastal communities in the region to manage the risk of increased marine transport.

Through transnational collaboration, APP4SEA will improve oil spill preparedness and upskill local authorities; transfer best practice; raise awareness and protect marine bird species. The risk of oil tanker accidents in the region is getting higher but dealing with oil spills in the arctic marine environment has not been carried out before. 

This project will produce an interactive, smart map to show search and rescue centres; their level of preparedness for oil spills; ecologically sensitive areas/species that can be affected and weather conditions relevant to marine transport in the Arctic seas. This application is expected to have a predictive function to advise on the most efficient response method for the place and size of spill.

Drs Neil James, Elizabeth Masden and Nina O’Hanlon (ERI) are leading work on the environmental and ecological impact of oils spills, with a specific focus on seabirds. They recently organised a workshop in Inverness which brought together experts from around Europe to discuss species oil vulnerability, and take steps towards producing an advanced methodological index.

International partners include:

FINLAND: University of Oulu; Finnish Environment Institute;

SCOTLAND: Scottish Natural Heritage; University of Highlands and Islands; Marine Scotland.

NORWAY: Norwegian Meteorological Institute; Norwegian Coastal Administration;

ICELAND: University of Iceland;

Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA), 5/2017 - 4/2020