On 20 November in Trieste, the Maritime Directorate of Trieste, in collaboration with Slovenian and Croatian partners, successfully concluded a groundbreaking transnational anti-pollution exercise in the Northern Adriatic. The activity, a crucial component of the EU-cofunded NAMIRS project - Response System to Accidents at Sea in North Adriatic, coordinated by the CEI - Executive Secretariat – witnessed a strengthened cooperation among Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia in responding to marine pollution incidents.
The carefully crafted scenario, rooted in a risk analysis conducted within the project by the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS) and the University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Maritime Studies of Portorož, aimed to test response capabilities in a realistic setting. The analysis highlighted the Gulf of Trieste as a high-risk area for collision and subsequent pollution in the upper Adriatic. This risk zone, situated at the convergence point of exit-entry routes from the ports of Koper, Trieste, and Monfalcone, was central to the exercise.
Coast Guard and firefighting teams, thus, engaged in a comprehensive testing of communication and operational protocols to improve response efficiency in addressing potential hydrocarbon spills.
Distinguished attendees included Italy's Deputy Minister of the Environment, Hon. Vannia GAVA, and Tiziana Chieruzzi from the Directorate General for Nature and Sea Protection. Notable local authorities, such as the Prefect of Trieste, Pietro Signoriello, and the Regional Minister for Environment and Energy, Fabio Scoccimarro, were present onsite to observe and support the exercise.
Secretary-General Roberto Antonione emphasised the critical importance of cross-border collaboration in safeguarding the Adriatic Sea and its valuable resources. He pointed out that, "this exercise demonstrates the indispensable nature of coordination, benefiting all involved countries and their citizens." Antonione further conveyed the CEI’s commitment in building upon this collaboration, working towards establishing a permanent coordination platform dedicated to safeguarding the Adriatic from the repercussions of pollution, spanning from the North to the entire basin.
The exercise underscored the paramount importance of cross-border cooperation in addressing potential environmental crises, emphasising that collaborative efforts are essential to effectively mitigate the impact of such incidents.
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