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Hazardous substances preparedness in the BSR: need for better connections between levels and sectors

Strengthening the cross-sectoral cooperation in CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives) preparedness in the Baltic Sea Region is one of the prioritised strategic actions in the Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in the Civil Protection Area, adopted by the Directors General for Civil Protection in the BSR in May 2017.

Continuing its efforts in facilitating such cooperation the CBSS Civil Security team invited 11 CBRNE experts, representatives from civil protection agencies, research organisations and networks from 5 BSR countries for a concept development workshop on 13-14 February 2018.

The workshop was held in the frame of the project STAC-CBRNE – Strengthening the Transnational Capacity of the Management of CBRNE agents related Emergencies, funded by the Swedish Institute.

The participants shared their experiences in different CBRNE related initiatives and projects, identified gaps and capability challenges, screened potential funding opportunities and agreed on the next steps towards a larger, more comprehensive project.

The following themes (potential focus areas for a future project) were chosen by the participants:

  1. There is a need for continuity in the knowledge exchange between CBRNE experts in the region
  2. Research and project results should be better utilized and made available and usable for practitioners
  3. Coordination and communication between different national authorities, agencies, and sectors, working with CBRNE preparedness and response should be improved
  4. Holistic view on CBRNE threats can improve preparedness; good examples of such approach – national CBRNE strategies of Sweden and Finland

The group agreed that the next step will be the drafting of the concept for a large CBRNE stakeholder networking forum. This forum will serve as the tool to address the needs identified. Related to this, preparatory work with a mapping of CBRNE related stakeholders in the BSR will also follow, based on the report: “Mapping of responsibilities for CBRNE Emergency Management in the Baltic Sea Region”. The next STAC-CBRNE workshop will be held in the end of April in Helsinki and will be hosted by the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK).

STAC-CBRNE Workshop 13-14 Feb 2018, Stockholm