GOVERNMENT PURSUES COMPENSATION CLAIMS FOR OIL SPILLS AS CONVENTION CAME INTO FORCE
The government is in a process of pursuing owners and insurers for compensation arising from pollution damages caused by MV Solomon Trader in Rennel and the recent MV Quebec in Santa Cruz respectively.
This becomes possible after Solomon Islands ratified the Bunkers Convention which is now into force as of 15th January 2021.
A government statement says, the Rennell Oil Spill has been one of the agendas which the Premier of Rennell and Bellona Province Hon. Willy Tuhagenga and his delegation discussed with Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare during a courtesy visit early this week.
During the meeting, Mr Sogavare strongly urged for actions to be taken to address the compensation claims.
The Solomon Islands recent accession to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (‘Bunkers Convention’) is critical for pursuing compensation regarding the recent oil spill damages in the country.
A detailed environmental damage assessment commissioned by the Government on the Rennell Oil Spill has concluded that the grounding of the ship MV Solomon Trader and the subsequent oil spill caused significant ecological impacts and economic losses in the order of US$14 million to US$38 million.
The Bunkers Convention aims to ensure that prompt and adequate compensation is available to persons inclusive of state parties, individuals and communities to claim for compensation arising from pollution damage and costs of preventative measures taken to prevent or minimise damage.