On Wednesday evening, 3 February 2021, over 20 interested participants from different Baltic Sea Region countries joined our webinar on volunteer management in oil spill response. See the webinar recording, here, or download the presentations as pdf files at the end of this text.
After Eglė Mikučionytė (Lithuanian Red Cross) opened the event, Heta Hyvärinen from Finnish Red Cross introduced the Finnish Volunteer Rescue Service and how volunteers are managed and organized in oil spill response in Finland. Petri Jaarto from WWF Finland continued by sharing experiences from the field.
Have you ever thought how much has to be taken into account if and when spontaneous volunteers and their contribution is utilized in acute crises? Mikkel Wendelboe Toft (Danish Red Cross) gave insights on their project in which simple, innovative solutions are developed to ensure smooth interaction between citizens, authorities and voluntary organizations in these demanding situations.
Jüri-Ott Salm (Estonian Fund for Nature) took us back to 2006 when a mystery oil spill was spotted in Estonia. At the time, there was still much to learn about wildlife cleaning, and the operation led to several improvements. The incident also highlighted people’s willingness to help and the value of collaboration across borders, sectors and organizations.
Between the presentations, there was also time for discussion. Kia Petersen (Danish Civil Protection League), who was part of the organizing team, comments:
“Volunteers – and especially the non-leader volunteers – do not have many opportunities to discuss things like volunteer management with their peers from different countries. It was really great to create a room for that! We all have a lot to learn from each other: the management tasks are quite similar in various types of incidents and across borders.”
Heta Hyvärinen agrees. She was also happy to notice how previous projects have yielded benefits and how much is learned from the past accidents. Since the challenges are similar in all countries, both Heta and Kia started already envisioning the next event. Perhaps a slightly modified one – with a workshop and more time for fruitful conversation – that would allow sharing experiences and knowledge across the Baltic Sea Region even better.
Download the presentations here: