Strengthening common reaction capacity to fight sea pollution of oil, toxic and hazardous substances in Adriatic Sea

Priority and Measure
Measure 2.2 - Natural and cultural resource management and prevention of natural and technological risks
Priority 2 - Natural and cultural resources and risk prevention
EUSAIR Pillars
Environmental quality, blue growth
Type of Project
Lucia Di Lauro, Maria Trabace
Interviewee role
Lucia Di Lauro (Director, representative of the Lead Partner) Maria Trabace (project assistant)
Puglia Region - Department of Civil Protection
E-mail -
+39 080 5401501 (L. Di Lauro) - +39 0805401536 (M. Trabace)
Project website
Budget in euros


Role Name City Country Contact person Email / website
Lead Partner Puglia Region - Department of Civil Protection Modugno – Z.I. Bari Italy Lucia Di Lauro Maria Trabace
Partner 1 County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar Rijeka Croatia Tomislav Kandzija  
Partner 2 Zadar County, Administrative Department for Physical Planning, Environmental Protection and Communal Affairs Zadar Croatia Zvonimir Vrancic
Partner 3 Split-Dalmatia County   Split Croatia Mate Ivankovic
Partner 4 Region of Istria Pula Croatia Damir Rudela
Partner 5 Emilia Romagna Region – Civil Protection Department Bologna Italy Clarissa Dondi Barbara Guandalini bguandalini@regione.emilia-
Partner 6 Marche Region Ancona Italy Leonardo Balestra
Partner 7 National Research Council, Water Research Institute, Department of Bari Bari Italy Michele Vurro  
Partner 8 National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics - OGS Trieste Italy Miroslav Gacic
Partner 9 Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Split Croatia Ivona Marasovic
Partner 10 The Ministry of Public Works and Transport Tirana Albania Rovena Muzhaqi Elson Thana
Partner 11 National Institute of Biology – Marine Biology Station Piran Slovenia Branko Cermelj
Partner 12 Institute of Marine Biology, University of Montenegro Kotor Montenegro Ana Castelli  

Project Description


Project description

The Mediterranean is one of the busiest seas in the world in terms of traffic. Even if it covers only 0.7% of the total sea surface in the world, it hosts 30% of the overall international maritime traffic. Sea pollution by oil, hazardous & noxious substances can happen at any time and any place along the main maritime routes and in terminals. For this reason  the HAZADR project’s main goal was to establish a cross-border network for the prevention of risks and the management of emergencies, in order to reduce the risk of pollution and contamination of the Adriatic sea and to strengthen a common reaction capacity of the communities belonging to the Adriatic Region against environmental and technological hazards due to collisions, shipwrecking and spillage of oil and toxic material into the sea.

What has been done during the project in order to achieve its main goal(s)?

The project’s objectives have been achieved through a series of actions:

1.       The development and early application of a complex mechanism providing a pioneering group of Civil Protections & Operational Rooms with an early warning system for coastal protection called ATLAS (, which is a web-based alert and notification application enabling real time exchange of information between the Adriatic countries and regions over the evolution of the coastal threats due to traffic and whether conditions on Adriatic open sea. ATLAS pays particular attention to the Adriatic most vulnerable sites (ecological, economic and human hotspots), as consequence of a Protocol of Cooperation with SHAPE project.

2.       The profiling of common standards about the top clean-up techniques to depollute the beaches and coastal areas affected by the oil-spill grounding, developed thanks to the implementation of 3 interregional and cross-border common shoreline exercises (VIREX2014, ERCOLE2014, PAMEX2015), which have represented the privileged way to train the head of operations, the civil protection teams and the volunteers, in the perspective of coordinated contingency plans and mutual support in case of disasters affecting the shorelines;

3.       The creation of the Adriatic Training and Research Centre based in Rijeka, the only one in the EUSAIR area that has supported and complemented the prevention and preparedness efforts of the participating partners, focusing on areas where a joint Adriatic approach is more effective than separate national or regional response actions. These include the improvement of the quality and accessibility to information, clean up techniques and case studies, also encouraging the diffusion of early warning tools. More than 200 emergency operators and disaster specialists were trained across the Adriatic.

Which are the project main results/impacts?


Upgrading the knowledge framework over the estimated environmental and socio-economic risks in the most vulnerable Adriatic areas due both to natural and human-induced factors, as well as harmonization of practices governing the protection of the coasts from pollution.


Providing the Adriatic emergency corps with a standardized decision support system (called: ATLAS) that warns about the real-time potential risk factors for the coastal areas associated to the presence of dangerous ship (such as oil-tankers) and weather conditions in the Adriatic. This system offers a coastal early warning facility able to activate a cross-border dispatching and oil-forecast system addressed to the qualified emergency operators to accelerate, both across the coasts and in the open sea, the single, interregional or cross-border procedures to combat the pollution and reduce the environmental damages.


Setting up of a common database on the state of readiness and spatial distribution of pollution preventing equipment along the Adriatic coasts as well as the improvement of the operational instruments and oil spill mitigation programmes to cope with the environmental and technological hazards.


Enhancing the prevention structures in some of the most sensitive economic and ecologic poles of Adriatic through a joint meteorological radar monitoring program (based on a set of radar systems and VHF devices) and innovative oil-spill detection programmes.


Harmonizing, improving and shortening the deployment time of the cross-border reaction capacity in the event of oil, toxic and hazardous substances spill through the organization of three joint oil-spill simulations and exercises in the Adriatic;


Reinforce – through the establishment of one Adriatic Training and Research Centre based in Rijeka and the cooperation with the European and International Organizations – a cross-border emergency capacity: this was be done by providing training to command personnel, operational staff and other actors involved in contingency plan and pollution prevention from all over the Adriatic.