The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
WWF is deeply concerned about the oil leakage that occurred in Syria about a week ago. This preventable incident will have immediate and long-term effects on coastal ecosystems and vulnerable communities in the area. This is the second major oil spill that has occurred in the region this year.
The spill originated from Syria, where, according to local reports, a rupture in a tank at the Baniyas Thermal Station led to large quantities of fuel being poured into the sea, and affected several municipalities that have already started cleaning procedures. The leaking tank was filled with 15,000 tons of fuel, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.
The recent accident represents a further reminder about the major risks associated with hydrocarbon extraction and processing in the semi enclosed basin of the Mediterranean, which does not allow the dispersion of oil pollutants and where the consequences of such accidents can cause long-term negative effects on coastal ecosystems and communities.
Mauro Randone, Coordinator of the Sustainable Blue Economy Programme at WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative said, “We urge all affected countries to act quickly and allocate funds so that an effective cleaning of the affected areas can be conducted to avoid further dispersion and contamination of pristine habitats and marine species. Mediterranean countries must take strong measures aimed at refitting and securing obsolete oil and gas infrastructures so that further incidents of this kind impacting vital ecosystems and vulnerable communities can be prevented.”
WWF urges Mediterranean countries to:
- phase-out existing and ban new oil and gas exploration, extraction and processing projects in the region in a way that reflects the targets of the Paris Agreement, and ensure that no further investments are directed towards the oil and gas developments;
- adopt a longer-term energy vision by setting clear targets for future energy use and exploring alternative energy sources to oil and gas; work with relevant international organisations to share experiences and learn from other countries regarding energy supply, access and efficient use;
- enforce stronger regulations to prevent such accidents, in particular through the ratification and effective implementation of the relevant Protocols of the Barcelona Convention (including the Offshore Protocol, Land Based Sources Protocol, Prevention and Emergency Protocol).