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Guyana ratifies conventions to protect against oil spills – Greenidge

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Dated: December 11th, 2018

Guyana’s ratification of several international conventions has been approved by Cabinet. These are aimed at, among other things, strengthening the country’s legal framework for the emerging Oil and Gas industry.

This was announced by the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge during the 2019 budget debate in the National Assembly on Friday.

One such instrument is the 2000 Protocol on Hazardous and Noxious Substances to the 1990 International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation. This provides a framework designed to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing for and responding to major oil pollution incidents. It requires States to plan and prepare by developing national systems for pollution response in their respective countries, by maintaining adequate capacity and resources to address oil pollution emergencies.

The Protocol also extends the regulatory framework to address pollution incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances such as chemicals.

Carl Greenidge, Guyana's Foreign Affairs Minister

The Foreign Affairs Minister explained the challenges regarding the management of oil spills. “Whilst the dangers are indeed real no single developing state has ever been called on to meet the cost of a petroleum spill in its entirety or even primarily,” he said. According to him, states are protected by the time-worn device of company and collective/industry insurance as well as national disaster arrangements.

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