SENSITIVITY MAPPING FOR OIL SPILL RESPONSE: A COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK TO IDENTIFY WILDLIFE AND AREAS AT RISK ALONG THE COASTLINE OF BRAZIL
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SENSITIVITY MAPPING FOR OIL SPILL RESPONSE: A COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK TO IDENTIFY WILDLIFE AND AREAS AT RISK ALONG THE COASTLINE OF BRAZIL

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  • Journal Title:
    International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings
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    2017-365 The Environmental Mapping for Emergency Response at Sea Project (Mapeamento Ambiental para a Resposta à Emergência no Mar – MAREM, in Portuguese) resulted from a collaborative agreement between the Brazilian Institute of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (IBP) and the Brazilian Federal Environmental Agency (IBAMA). In order to provide support for planning and management of response operations involving marine oil spills, MAREM’s first and second phases, named Shoreline Protection and Cleanup Project (Projeto de Proteção e Limpeza de Costa – PPLC), created a geo-referenced database of the entire Brazilian coastline (approximately 7,500 km) in 2013. MAREM’s third phase was the Wildlife Protection Project (Projeto de Proteção à Fauna). It started in 2015 and was developed by a consortium involving Aiuká, Witt O’Brien’s Brasil and national and international experts. The Wildlife Protection Project identified, compiled and mapped relevant information on coastal and marine wildlife at risk from oil spill incidents and associated responses along the Brazilian coastline. The Brazilian Exclusive Economic Zone was divided into 18 geographic units to facilitate the integration of marine, freshwater and terrestrial biogeographical data, regional geopolitics, and the incorporation of the zonal management of national oil production. Standardized decision trees were developed to provide an objective and consistent method for the identification of priority species and areas for protection in the event of an oil spill within each management unit. The decision trees incorporated previously identified critical habitats or natural resources meeting international conservation strategies (such as Ramsar wetlands, Important Bird Areas and the World Heritage Convention) and the Brazilian National Action Plans for Species Conservation. Species were classified by integrating two components: (a) assessing their vulnerability to oil spills using standardized criteria, and (b) their conservation status under international, national and regional conventions to generate an assessed prioritization for protection in case of oil spills, minimizing potential impacts. The Wildlife Protection Project has produced (i) a comprehensive dataset on species and habitat vulnerability in Brazil, and (ii) and a publicly-available WebGIS database of the critical information relevant to oil spill responses and response management, available at www.marem-br.com.br. These two products contain key information on the biology, distribution, seasonality and behavior of the identified vulnerable species, in conjunction with operational information on the locations, biological, geopolitical and logistic aspects of the priority areas identified. Factsheets were produced for each high-priority species and areas, compiling selected details in a readily accessible format for field teams involved in oil spill responses. The Wildlife Protection Project represents an unprecedented and unique approach for oiled wildlife planning and response in Brazil.
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    International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings, 2017(1), 924-939
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    2169-3366;2169-3358;
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