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Ocean Space Environmental Risk and Impact Assessment

OSRIA – Ocean Space Environmental Risk and Impact Assessment seminar in Trondheim. Due to the Covid19 situation the conference will be scheduled for 2023. Updated information will come later.


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Background and ambition

UN has named the decade 2021 – 2030 'The decade of the Oceans'', and the UN Sustainability Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources, states: 

Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced and regulations need to be put in place to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification.

Environmental risk and impact assessment applications have over the past decades proven to be powerful tools in environmental management for industrial and other use of the Ocean space. SINTEF has actively participated in the development of these applications, especially with our numerical models DREAM and OSCAR.  Simulations for environmental risk assessment and management of regular, as well as contingency planning for accidental discharges are used systematically by the Petroleum industry. DREAM (Dynamic Risk and Effects Assessment Model) has found global applications for environmental risk assessment of discharges of produced water and drilling waste to sea and is accepted as a management tool by the OSPAR countries. The model is a part of the standard requirement for environmental management and reporting in of offshore petroleum operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Lately, risk assessment with models like DREAM has found new applications in other ocean-based industries, like the mining or aquaculture sector. In a situation where the ocean is subject to multiple anthropogenic stressors, due to geographically overlapping industrial activities, we see the potential and need for developing existing risk assessment tools further. To meet the challenge of sustainable development of the ocean space, future risk and impact assessment must account for global environmental stressors in addition to local and regional ones, seasonal variations that influence the impact of human activities to the ocean space, and the combined effect of all these.

The purpose and ambition with the seminar is to build a platform for such development. We will address three of the most important industrial sectors in the Norwegian ocean space: petroleum, aquaculture and mining. Our ambition is to establish a common understanding for future environmental risk based management by sharing experience and knowledge within risk and impact assessment from the different sectors.

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