ENVIRONMENTAL ATLAS WORKSHOP No. 3
Tallinn, estonian maritime academy, 29-30 november 2011
Workshop 
This workshop specifically addressed the Coordination of resources and sensitive areas as a continu­ation of the work presented and discussed at the first Environmental Atlas Seminar arranged in Stockholm, 3-4 May and at the second workshop in Helsinki 30-31 August 2011. These first two seminars basically dealt with possibilities and national differences from a theoretical view but this time a dummy of a GIS tool for sensitivity mapping and resource allocation was presented as a platform for further discussions.
 
Participants
The workshop was hosted by the Estonian Maritime Academy in Tallinn, Estonia and attracted in total 18 participants including facilitators. Most of the participants were from Estonia and all the Estonian EnSaCo partners were represented. The workshop was arranged by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB, and by SSPA Sweden AB who is a consultant for MSB. The workshop is part of the EU project EnSaCo (Environmental and safety management on shoreline oil spill response), an Interreg IV A project between the central Baltic countries Estonia, Finland and Sweden.
 
 
Presentations and discussions 
The progress and output of EnSaCo’s Environmental Atlas Component were reported and the findings and results from previous seminars and workshop were discussed. Further possibilities on international coordination of sensitivity mapping and resource allocation were discussed and developed on the basis of demonstration of the dummy and optional outline solutions. The preferred basic functionalities of a common platform for the harmonised resource allocation and sensitivity mapping tool were also discussed.
 
About half of the participants had not attended the previous workshops and the first presentation recapitulated the previously conducted tasks.
 
SSPA presented the findings related to Task 4, the work to identify and extract relevant GIS map layers and to present them in a common platform that allow international comparison and exchange of information. It was clear that the coverage, level of details and formats differs significantly between the countries. A translation table for harmonisation of various shore line type classes was proposed and relevant map layers from other HELCOM member states were presented in the GIS environment and with on-line demonstration of various web-applications.  
 
A number of specific discussion points was raised in the workshop session and the following were noted:
 
1.    Who is the target user of the projected oil spill resource allocation and sensitivity mapping tool? It was reported by MSB that experience from the EnSaCo BOILEX exercise in September clearly identified a need for a common tool that can be used by staff in the partner countries to facilitate exchange and loan of resources in large scale accidents and in cross-border exercises like the BOILEX. It is needed not only for the operational responders but would also provide a valuable tool for the national contingency planning authorities.

2.    How to ensure its sustainability, regular use and updating of input data?
The three Environmental Atlas workshops conducted have basically been attended by participants from the hosting countries and in particular the Swedish representation at this Tallinn workshop was low – MSB was the only present Swedish partner. From MSB’s side there is a concern that this weak engagement from important key stakeholders also will be reflected in the sustainability and practical cooperation after the project period is over. One reason for this situation is as earlier mentioned that many key stakeholders are not project partners, and it was stressed that the project must identify and propose mechanisms that will gain further development of the presented pilot tool and ensure long term sustainability of cooperation with a common resource and sensitivity mapping platform.

3.    Possible features to improve attraction and stimulate frequent use of the platform.
The most interesting feature in addition to the three main functions; shore type, sensitivity and resources was generally found to be the integration of a dynamic oil spill trajectory tool. The integration of the Sea Track Web (STW) will also introduce valuable information on wind/current time history and a number of preregistered known spill cases could be included for training/demonstration purposes and possibly also for communicating updated spill information to the public and media. Dynamic transponder data from live AIS signals was also proposed as a feature that might be of interest.   Different options for base maps including sea charts, satellite images, land maps etc. will also improve the tool and perhaps also make it attractive to more users and gain the visit frequency.

4.    Host platform – GIS application
The HELCOM Map and Data Services was still considered to be the main option to provide a final long term host/owner for the tool. It was noted that its sub-page (
http://www.helcom.fi/GIS/BalanceData/en_GB/main/) with the EU BALANCE-project approach possibly may facilitate the handling of large map layer files. It is considerd a disadvantage that only static map layers can be presented in the HELCOM Map and Data Services and some concern was also raised on the lack of filtering and query functions. Nevertheless, the context with other environmental GIS information, the prospects of sustainability and ensured maintenance outweigh the disadvantages. The  BoundaryGIS portal (used for the OILRISK Web project) was also discussed as possible platform for development (may facilitate STW integration) of a feasible web application for the new harmonized resource allocation and sensitivity tool and it will be further investigated. Other options for ArcGis Web applications will also be investigated. The final spec of the tool needs to be defined before an appropriate development environment is selected.

5.    Wiki for presentation project results
SSPA proposed to introduce a Wiki approach for presentation of results on the EnSaCO web site. SSPA will request EnSaCo to install the required client and check for approval at MSB and EnSaCO management.

6.    Presently available GIS layers and gaps
It was concluded that GIS data on the three basic aspects; shore type, sensitivity and resources is available in Sweden (MSB provides new updated info on the resources available in the Swedish partner regions in Excel format). For Finland, shore line classification will be searched from SYKE, contacts are established with OILRISK to retrieve sensitivity data and resources are identified via HELCOM maps and SÖKÖ manuals. For Estonia, information on the resources will be provided from The Maritime Academy in Excel format. Regarding Estonian beach type and sensitivity information, The University of Tartu has useful scientific data but the accessibility must be discussed further to find a feasible solution to use it for the EnSaCO project.