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21-26 JANUARY 2017 – Marpart organized safety and preparedness session at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway
In January, the Arctic Frontiers Conference was held in Tromsø. Marpart researchers participated at both the main program as well as side events. One of the highlights was the side event “Explorer cruise in the Arctic - a safe experience” organized by Nord University in cooperation with AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) which took place on January 25th. This event covered the thematic of great importance within Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North.
 
Collaboration in Arctic Cruise Tourism, an important topic for Marpart
With the rapidly increasing popularity of Artic expedition cruises, with passenger numbers increasing by the hundreds/thousands, being environmentally friendly, safe and considerate are among the overall objectives of Arctic expedition cruise operators. In order to achieve these objectives, Arctic expedition cruise operators have collaborated on industry standards under the umbrella of AECO, created in 2003.
The side event was opened by AECO Executive Director Frigg Jørgensen, who provided an overview on market trends and developments within the Arctic expedition cruise business, which mostly take place in the regions of Spitsbergen and Greenland, but also include Jan Mayen, the Canadian Arctic and the Russian Arctic. When it comes to maritime preparedness, AECO and its members put emphasis on sharing information and cooperation within the association.
Lately, AECO has put great focus on Search and Rescue and safety related efforts. For instance, they have started organizing seminars and exercises such as the Joint Arctic SAR Table Top Exercise and workshop in 2016, where Marpart representatives also participated. The topics discussed at these events include the importance of personnel competences for on-scene coordination, emergency towing, firefighting, medical self-efficacy and the importance of well-suitable emergency equipment. These topics will be further discussed at future events.  

Emergency Preparedness and Partnership in the Arctic
While AECO’s collaboration efforts represent both innovation and a best practice within its industry, the research conducted as part of the first work packages of Marpart has shown that further initiatives are needed to overcome the wide range of risks for even larger passenger ships and other maritime actors. Marpart’s research indicates that fire on board is among the most critical potential incidents when sailing in Arctic waters, and that evacuation and rescue in polar waters during windy weather are extremely challenging. During the Arctic Frontier’s side event, Marpart highlighted some of the further steps needed to improve preparedness in relation to Arctic expeditions cruises.
In his presentation entitled “Emergency Preparedness Capacities and Partnership in the Arctic”, Marpart project leader Professor, dr. ekon Odd Jarl Borch, highlighted the following elements:
  • “There are gaps in government preparedness in the High North that the industry has to close themselves.
  • We are in need for emergency preparedness improvements and innovations to meet a more expansive cruise industry.
  • The coastal states of the Arctic have to work closely to increase response time and response capacity and align their organizations.“
One approach to confront these issues is to increase mutual learning and cooperation across institutions and across countries. In his talk on “Cruise in the Arctic” Captain (N) Ottar Haugen, Deputy Commander of the Norwegian Coast Guard, addressed this issue from the perspective of the Norwegian Coast Guard.

He pointed out how important cross-border cooperation is and mentioned a wide selection of international platforms that the Norwegian Coast Guard is involved in. These include:
  • "Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF)
  • North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum (NACGF)
  • Nordic Coast Guard Cooperation (NCGC)
  • North East Atlantic Fishery Commission
  • Cooperation with Russia
    • NO/RU Fishery Commission
    • NJHQ and the Russian Border Guard/Coast Guard
    • RU and NO Coast Guard
  • Bilateral meetings [with other actors and foreign Coast Guard institutions]"
Captain (N) Ottar Haugen, Deputy Commander of the Norwegian Coast Guard
Captain Haugen also introduced the audience to the scope of the Norwegian Coast Guard fleet and their ongoing activity to enlarge their capacities. Nevertheless, he also stressed the fact that maritime response capacity in the Arctic is still limited, particularly when it comes to mass evacuations and large oil spills in remote polar areas.
The Marpart project is currently investigating the potential for cooperation of Arctic preparedness institutions, including the pooling of resources and the coordination of joint operations using resources from several countries. Marpart research will also target competence sharing across borders through education, targeted courses, simulator training and other exchanges
 
Further information on the side event “Explorer cruise in the Arctic – a safe experience” and the list of speakers is available here: http://www.arcticfrontiers.com/program/session/?id=ASE027.
 

Offshore Preparedness Conference 2017


From May 30th to June 1st,  the Offshore preparedness conference takes place in Bodo, Norway. The main focus areas of the conference will be:
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Collaboration in the Arctic
  • Oil spill protection in Arctic waters
Marpart will contribute with a number of presentations. Among others, Professor, dr. ekon Odd Jarl Borch and project leader of the Marpart project group will give a presentation on “Cross-border collaboration approaches and experiences related to emergency preparedness management, collaboration and expertise exchange”.

There will also be a network meeting on safety, security and preparedness including Marpart researchers, members of the newly created University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Security as well as the practitioners’ Arctic Security and Emergency Preparedness Network (ARCSAR).

 
More information about the conference and registration are available at
https://convkonf.wpengine.com/konferanser/offshore-preparedness-conference-2017/
NEW RESEARCHER JOINS THE MARPART PROJECT - Antonina Tsvetkova, PhD, joins the MARPART research team and gives new insights into the challenges of maritime logistics in the Arctic.

Antonina Tsvetkova has recently joined the Marpart research team. She holds a PhD from Nord University Business School with focus on Supply Chain Management in the Russian Arctic. During her PhD research, Antonina made a trip on board a modern diesel-electric container vessel of high ice-class Arc7 on a voyage from Murmansk port to Dudinka port via the Northern Sea Route in the period of April 28 — May 06, 2016. The ship, owned by MMC “Norilsk Nickel”, is able to operate in Arctic ice up to 1.5 meters thick without icebreaker support, and provides year-round regular cargo transportation in the Russian Arctic. Antonina’s personal observations on board were helpful to understand how collaboration between the vessel administration and onshore divisions’ staff is carried out, and what kind of issues and challenges they face when carrying out maritime transportation. During her stay on board, Antonina participated in several SAR exercises.
Antonina Tsvetkova, PhD.

Antonina will also contribute to the Operational Logistics Management and Vessel Technology Demands project (OpLog) focusing on field and preparedness logistics challenges in future offshore oil and gas activity on the Norwegian and Russian continental shelf in the North.

 
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