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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 


Wednesday 12 April 2006

Antilles join the Oil Fund



The Dutch minister Karla Peijis of Transport and Communications and her Antillean colleague Kenneth Gijsbertha attended a disaster exercise on and arount the Motet Wharf this morning. A situation was simulated with an oil spill in the harbour. Peijis and former Transport-minister Omayra Leeflang are comfortable with each other, so are Peijis and Gijsbertha.

CURACAO – The Neth.Antilles and Aruba join the Oil Fund of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Oil Fund compensates the fishery, flora and fauna, and the tourist sector for damages suffered due to incidents with oil tankers.

Since she took office, the Dutch minister Karla Peijs (Transport and Communications, CDA) had insisted that the Antilles should join the Oil Fund, because in the Kingdom, the Caribbean islands are most vulnerable to an oil spill due to the tourism, the coral reefs, and the fishery. Besides, there is a lot of tanker traffic in the region and a lot of oil is being shipped in and out of Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire and Statia.

Requirement for possible compensation by the fund is that the participating country does everything in her power to limit damages as much as possible. That’s also the reason why there was a disaster exercise in the Anna Bay today; an oil spill was simulated.

The exercise was an initiative of the Dutch minister and is the first large-scale oil spill exercise in the islands. Coastguard, fire department, Curaçao Ports Authority, the Isla-refinery, and other auxiliary- and government services took part in the exercise.

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