Experts from the US Pacific Command provided training for disaster response counterparts from Sri Lanka and Maldives on preparation and response to potential oil spill scenario that could severely impact local environment and tourism. Both civilian and military participants shared experiences from recent oil spill response efforts, with hands-on field exercises that included a live demonstration at sea.
“Protecting the well-being of the Indian Ocean region is one of the reasons why it’s so important to develop regional cooperation,” said US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap. “The United States will stand together with Sri Lanka and Maldives to ensure our seas can continue to provide food and employment.”
The US Pacific Command, Sri Lankan Navy, Sri Lankan Coast Guard, Sri Lanka Disaster Management Centre, Marine Environmental Protection Authority, and Maldives National Defence Force partnered together for the week-long workshop. The event coincides with the US Department of State Our Ocean conference in Washington D.C., where environmental activists, scientists, business and world leaders gathered to find solutions and commit to actions to protect and conserve our ocean and its resources. (http://ourocean2016.org/)