IUCN Appoints New Panel Member

19 March 2007 | News story

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Brian Dicks to the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP).

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Brian Dicks to the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP).

IUCN convened the WGWAP in response to the findings of an independent report, published in 2005, on the impacts of the Sakhalin II offshore oil and gas development project on the whale population. The current Panel (of ten scientists) was formally established in October 2006 (Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP)).

Since its establishment, IUCN and Panel members have identified the need for additional capacity within the WGWAP to address specific issues concerning oil spill prevention, preparedness and response, as these relate to the conservation of western gray whales. Following a nomination and evaluation process, Dr Dicks has been appointed by the Director General of IUCN to serve on the Panel for this purpose.

Dr Dicks brings to the Panel considerable experience and expertise in the field of oil spill preparedness and response. Following 15 years of research and consultancy, plus three years spent as an environmental adviser for North Sea Operations, Shell UK Exploration and Production, Dr Dicks joined the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. (ITOPF) (www.itopf.org) as a Technical Adviser in 1987. ITOPF is a not-for-profit organisation specialising in the provision of technical advice regarding oil spill clean-up and damages.

In his career with ITOPF, Dr Dicks advised on more than 60 oil spills world-wide, including major incidents involving Amoco Cadiz (France), Exxon Valdez (USA), Braer (Shetland, UK), Iron Baron (Tasmania, Australia), Evoikos (Singapore), Erika (France) and Tasman Spirit (Pakistan). In addition, he has been involved in numerous post-spill impact studies and in contingency planning to identify marine environmental risks and minimise impacts. He retired from ITOPF in 2006 and continues to work in this field as an independent consultant.

Dr Dicks brings extensive practical experience of oil industry operations, planning and spill preparedness/response, as well as a detailed understanding of the environmental impacts associated with oil spills. “His knowledge and experience should be invaluable as the Panel attempts to achieve a rigorous assessment of Sakhalin Energy’s oil spill prevention procedures and contingency plans. I welcome him to the Panel and look forward to working with him,” said Dr Randall Reeves, Chairman of the WGWAP.

For more information, please contact:

Julian Roberts, IUCN Marine Programme Officer, Tel. +41 22 999 0291; Fax +41 22 999 0025; julian.roberts@iucn.org , Web: http://iucn.org/themes/marine