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Environmental Impact of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry by Stanislav Patin - a unique summary of world-wide studies on the environmental issues associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and development

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Links to inter-governmental organizations concerned with environmental issues of the offshore oil

Back to the Directory of Offshore Oil and Gas and Environmental Internet Resources

Please send us your favorite Internet resources on offshore oil and gas development and its environmental impact (suggest the topic and include a short descriptions): [email protected].

Inter-governmental organizations and programs

UNEP - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) works to encourage sustainable development through sound environmental practices everywhere. The UNEP site includes the Regional Seas Programme with Regional Action Plans, Regional Conventions, and information on environmental threats to the sea, environmental assessment and environmental management. Website for the UNEP Offshore Oil and Gas Environment Forum (OEF) provides information on impacts, management, regulations and sound environmental technologies during the offshore oil and gas activity.

DOALOS - UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) serves as the secretariat of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)and provides information, advice and assistance to States with a view to promoting a better understanding of the Convention and the related Agreements, their wider acceptance, uniform and consistent application and effective implementation. The site includes the full text of the Convention, as well as information on Marine Resources and Marine Environment.

ICES - The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is an international science organization studying and helping to safeguard North Atlantic marine ecosystems and the living resources they sustain. ICES is the oldest intergovernmental marine science organization in the world established in 1902). The ICES Secretariat maintains some of the world's largest databases on the marine environment, including the data on marine pollutants.

OSPARCOM - Oslo and Paris Commissions (OSPARCOM) is regulatory commission for the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The OSPAR Commission was established by the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic ("OSPAR Convention") to administer the Convention and to develop policy and international agreements in this field. The Commission is supported by an international secretariat based in London.

HELCOM - Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission or HELCOM) is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992 (entered into force on 17 January 2000). The site includes information about the recent oil spills in the Baltic Sea and HELCOM recommendations regarding the offshore activities.

GESAMP - The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) was established in 1967 by a number of United Nations Agencies to provide advice to the agencies (and through them to their Member Governments) on the marine protection. GESAMP covers all scientific aspects on prevention, reduction and control of the degradation of the marine environment to sustain life support systems, resources and amenities. The website provides access to GESAMP statements, reports and studies.

The World Bank - Bank's Oil and Gas Group activities extend from the preparation and review of project related environmental impact studies and action plans, to the drafting of environmental and safety laws and regulations and the creation of institutional capacity in the public and private sectors of developing countries to address environmental and safety concerns (;/impact.htm). The World Bank site provides documents on best practice of dealing with the environmental, social and economic impacts of oil & gas operations.

IMO - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from the ships. On the IMO site you find information on the organization itself, and on conventions on marine pollution, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL 73/78.

IOC - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) was founded in 1960 to promote marine scientific investigations and related ocean services, with a view to learning more about the nature and resources of the oceans.

GOOS - Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is a permanent global system for observations, modeling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. GOOS provides descriptions of the present state of the oceans, including living resources; continuous forecasts of the future conditions of the sea for as far ahead as possible; and the basis for forecasts of climate change. GOOS is a programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

IODE - The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) system has been established in 1961 to "enhance marine research, exploration, and development by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States." IODE is a programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

GIPME - The Global Investigation of Pollution in the Marine Environment (GIPME) Programme is an international cooperative programme of scientific investigations focussed on marine contamination and pollution. GIPME was established in response to the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972. GIMPE is a programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

GIWA - Global International Waters Assessment, UNEP/GEF GIWA, is providing a comprehensive and integrated global assessment of international waters, including waters in marine and coastal areas. GIWA encompasses the ecological status of and the causes of environmental problems of shared water areas in the world.

WCMC - The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) maintains a large amount of information relating to marine and coastal environments and their conservation. 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.

PAME - The programme for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) addresses policy and non-emergency pollution prevention and control measures related to the protection of the Arctic marine environment from land and sea-based activities, including the offshore oil and gas development. PAME Offshore Oil and Gas Reports are available for download from the site.

AMAP - Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme is an international organization that provides information on the status of, and threats to, the Arctic environment, and providing scientific advice on actions to be taken in order to support Arctic governments in their efforts to take remedial and preventive actions relating to contaminants.

EEA - European Environment Agency (EEA) aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy making agents and the public. See a summary of the EEA publication on Environmental Risk Assessment at for resources on the issue.

ACOPS - The primary aim of Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) is to promote strategies for the sustainable development of the coastal and marine environment, through scientific, legal and policy research, and advisory and public awareness activities. Among other documents, the site provides ACOPS' annual survey of reported discharges attributed to vessels and offshore oil and gas installations operating in the United Kingdom Pollution Control Zone (see The survey is conducted on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and generates statistics concerning incidents involving discharges of oil, noxious liquid substances and garbage from all types of vessels and offshore oil and gas installations.

PEMSEA - Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) is a regional programme to protect the life support systems of the Seas of East Asia and to enable the sustainable use of their renewable resources through intergovernmental, interagency and intersectoral partnerships. PEMSEA provides hands-on training in specific areas of marine pollution prevention and management, in particular in the areas of oil spill prevention, response and management; Marine pollution monitoring; Environmental risk assessment and management and others.

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