The International Oil Spill Conference sponsored a workshop entitled “Global Challenges to Preparedness and Response” held in London, England, November 12–14, 2002. The Workshop brought more than 25 government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations representatives together to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats relative to government-led and industry-led response regimes around the world. Over the course of three days, a team of facilitators led participants through a series of response scenarios, alternating between small break out sessions followed by plenary sessions, to develop consensus on a framework for preparedness and response. Each scenario built on previous ones to further participant understanding and concurrence on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing regimes around the world. Participants rapidly concluded that all responses to significant incidents are government-led, with varying degrees of industry involvement. The framework for successful regimes was identified. The Workshop conclusions encompass three broad areas: 1) similarities and differences among models and regimes; 2) benefits of international conventions; and 3) critical elements in the preparedness cycle. Participants put forth specific challenges (recommendations for action) to all nations.

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