September 2, 2022
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched a three year new technical cooperation project together with Japan Coast Guard (JCG) and Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) in further assisting SLCG to establish an in-house oil spill response training system, an extension of past cooperation on oil spill incident management techniques.
Sri Lanka located on the important maritime transport route between Asia and Europe/ Middle-east, a maritime accident would have major impacts on safe navigation of vessels, maritime environment and economic activities of the region. SLCG is recognized as one of the principal players to combat maritime oil spill incidents and JICA has extended its continuous support to SLCG since 2014 up to now, including provision of two (2) patrol vessels tailored in Japan and continuous technical training to enhance SLCG's response capacity.
Following the project Kickoff in July 2022, a JICA mission has been deployed to Sri Lanka Coast Guard from 29th August to 2nd September that consists of three (3) JCG officers including the Mobile Cooperation Team as JICA Experts and a Senior Advisor of JICA HQs to commence project activities in Sri Lanka. JICA Expert members conducted an inspection of the SLCG patrol vessel 501 Samudraraksha, and 502 Samaraksha which were handed over to SLCG in year 2018, and oil spill combat equipment expected to be used in the practical training sessions. The 3-year project aims at strengthening SLCG's in-house training system to establish and sustain the knowledge and skills accumulated on oil spill response through the series of JICA's cooperation in the past 10 years. 22 trained SLCG instructors are expected to receive additional intensive training in Japan and Sri Lanka through transfer of knowledge and skills used by JCG under Japan's Official Development Assistance. A Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting was held between SLCG, JCG and JICA on 30th August to finalize the project approach including its operational plan for the next 3 years.
"We are very grateful to SLCG for maintaining the vessels and equipment that JICA has granted in proper conditions. It is our expectation that SLCG will utilize this opportunity to further strengthen its capacity to combat oil spills and establish a sustainable mechanism to preserve the knowledge within SLCG. JICA and JCG team look forward to giving our best support in the next 3 years" said, TSUCHIYA Koji JICA Senior Advisor.