ESDP minutes 01 - 2008/12/05

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MARINE BOARD - EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC DIVING PANEL (MB-ESDP)
Kick off meeting - 5 December 2008, ESF-COST offices, Brussels

1. Present
JP Féral (France), P Fischer (Germany), M Sayer (UK), A Norro (Belgium), R Lindblom (Sweden), D Tchernov (Israel), K Deneudt (Belgium), J Leinikki (Finland), A Carbonnière (ESF-MB), G Caramanna (Italy) and P Neves (Portugal) were present for some of the meeting by video conference.
Apologies from representatives of Greece, Poland and Turkey

2. Introduction
Welcome address
Adoption of the Agenda
New logo approved
Presentation of the Marine Board outlining the expectations and guidance of the Marine Board to the ESDP

3. Definition of Scientific Diving
The purpose of scientific diving (SD) is diving that is science-led and is needed to support professional research and education and for the protection, conservation and monitoring of the natural and cultural environment. It is not recreational or commercial diving.
SD exists in a health and safety framework that involves certified scientific divers, diving officers, scientific project leaders, heads of laboratories, administrators and legislators.
ALL: To encourage input from national organisations

4. How the ESDP will operate
The ESDP formally replaces the ESDC. Need to re-examine the ESDC constitution to see if issues such as representation and membership still apply or require further revision before final acceptance.
MARTIN: to circulate revised ESDC constitution for comment

5. European standards
The draft standards for ESD and AESD from the Banyuls are now formally recognised by the ESDP. The standards will be revised into a form that is now relevant to ESDP and removes the draft status. The new version should be the one that is published on all relevant websites.
MARTIN: To revise standards and circulate revision for comment

6. Update on national committees

Italy: Has a working group working toward the formation of the Italian Scientific Diving Board. Also in contact with relevant ministry. Next meeting in late spring or summer. At present some universities represented, but the next meeting will be open to all and so the representation should increase. Contacting all organisations with scientific diving interests.
Some concerns within Italian scientific diving community that official recognition of a national body may bring in restrictive certification levels. May accept the European standards as they are competency-based. The regulations for commercial divers in Italy are quite restrictive and so there is a need to distinguish between the two groups. It may be useful for the current members of the ESDP to engage with the Italian ministry.
Israel: A national scientific diving committee established since 2004 with code of practice. Established scientific diving certification and medical requirements. All universities represented. Scientific diving has been separated from commercial and recreational diving with their own code of practice (recognised by AAUS). Have specific insurance for scientific diving underwritten by DAN. Scientific diving meeting being planned for Eilat in 2010. Open to accepting ESD and AESD certification.

Greece: Diving in Greece has been de-regulated permitting much more scientific diving. There are moves to create a national committee for scientific diving. Diving only in five locations, three universities and so organisation should not be too much trouble.
Portugal: Starting to organise a national committee. A workshop will be organised at the beginning of 2009. Once they have a national committee then they will propose a national representative for the ESDP. The committee will represent the interests of scientific divers in Portugal. Scientific diving in Portugal is not classified as professional (which only covers commercial/construction diving), but is classified as amateur diving. The law in Portugal states that amateur diving regulations apply to all scientific and cultural diving for work. Presently training and certifying to the CMAS scientific diver standards but these are based on the ESD/AESD standards. ESD/AESD certificates could, therefore, be issued retrospectively to divers already trained.

Turkey: Isolated communications – no national organisation of note. Turkey is a Marine Board member and so they can join the ESDP

Belgium: The creation of the Belgium Scientific Diving Committee (BSDC) is on its way at the national level and is being created under Belgium Science Policy. BSDC is part of an existing interdepartmental commission. Constitution and ToRs being drafted for 2009. To initiate a database of scientific diving and divers. Planned to start ESD and AESD training in 2009. Following the acceptance of ESDP, the founding meeting of the BSDC is expected to happen in February or March 2009.

Lithuania, Ireland (Eire), Malta, Spain have all made tentative enquiries about ESDP membership.

Other countries with links?: Slovenia, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Holland

Agreed policy to inform other countries of the existence of the ESDP and make them aware of the next meeting. In additional Marine Board delegates could be used to communicate the existence of ESDP.

ESDP attendance is open to members, candidate members, observers, invited experts. No limit to attendance until it becomes an operational problem. May require an executive meet 2-3 times a year with a general meeting once a year.

Medical exams: Will differ between countries and will need to be tabulated.
ALL: to identify national links in non-represented countries and feedback to Aurélien
ALL: to send details of medical tests for scientific diving in their country

7. Use of students and volunteers
Some variation in use of students and volunteers as either part of or in addition to the full scientific diving team, insurance and/or medicals. Need to establish EU-general guidance for how students and volunteers are used in official scientific diving programmes. The UK is holding a brief workshop on this issue in April 2009. Martin will report back on this at the next ESDP meeting.
MARTIN: to prepare a briefing note based on the UK workshop in time for the next ESDP meeting in May.

8. Courses
The ESDP should be co-ordinating course provision to facilitate specific or ESD/AESD training in order to establish a critical mass of well trained and competent diving teams. Education and capacity building could attract EU funding.
AURÉLIEN: To invite representative from DG-MARE to outline funding opportunities

9. ESDP membership
EU-wide recognition of the ESD and AESD standards remain central objectives. However, the ESDP has to have an “open-door policy” that provides assistance, guidance and recognition.
Membership should be at the national level with one member per country. Where possible, that person should be able to prove that they have support for representing their country or national committee.
Ideally, the representative should:
1 – be involved with a national committee that is representing relevant research institutes, universities, museums etc.;
2 – demonstrate a link with a regulatory body that has influence over scientific diving;
3 – be aware of the ESDP minimum standards for scientific diving and to be working toward full reciprocal recognition of the ESDP between countries;
4 – be actively involved with the ESDP (e.g. sending details of their national meetings (attendance, dates, agendas, summaries etc.).

Website
www.esf.org
Marine and Polar sections can be followed from the main page.
Can link to www.scientific-diving.eu
Text to be sent to Aurélien for esf site, to Jouni for ESDP site.

Database for ESD/AESD for national organisations could be rolled out based on the German one. Concerns about data protection – could be password-protected.
PHILIP to investigate developing ESD/AESD database

Miscellaneous
ESDP needs to work towards developing guidelines for the use of students and volunteers in scientific diving.
ALAIN & JOUNI to work on draft guidelines for the use of volunteers and students

Need to develop a standard reply regarding requests for ESD/AESD cards. It is up to the national committees to manage the granting of ESD/AESD cards – but with the same template. ESDP to maintain a database of ESD/AESD certificate holders. To follow the guidelines laid down in the standards.

ESD/AESD duration presently set at 5 years in order to assure that the diver is still active. However, some countries have different national certificate durations. You have to have a valid national licence to support the validity of the ESD/AESD cards. Therefore the wording on the card should be:
“This card is only valid if supported by national regulations”
National committees need to maintain a national database of valid qualifications.

ERVO – ESDP to provide guidelines for scientific diving from boats. Could make presentation at an ERVO meeting
ESDP to produce minimum standards for scientific diving from ships (could present at next ERVO meeting (Copenhagan).
ALAIN & PHILIP to suggest draft guidelines for ERVO meeting

Brochure – ESDP to produce at some point

Vision papers – need to bear in mind possible technical areas for position papers.

Marine Board: Need to draft out a vision paper for submission to the Marine Board – draft by next meeting.
ALL: Suggest areas for vision papers for next meeting. Ideas to Dani.

AAUS – reciprocal acceptance of ESD and AESD.
MARTIN: to contact AAUS to recognise us.

Date of next meetings
1. Brussels 5th May 2009 10:00-17:00
2. Finland 5th October 2009
(ISOSD to follow 6-8 October)
(details to follow early 2009)
JOUNI: to circulate first call for ISOSD in early 2009

SUMMARY OF ACTION POINTS
ALL: To encourage input from national organisations
ALL: To identify national links in non-represented countries and feedback to Aurélien
ALL: To send details of medical tests for scientific diving in their country
ALL: Suggest areas for vision papers for next meeting. Ideas to Dani.
MARTIN: To circulate revised ESDC constitution for comment
MARTIN: To revise standards and circulate revision for comment
MARTIN: To prepare a briefing note based on the UK workshop in time for the next ESDP meeting in May.
MARTIN: To contact AAUS to recognise us
AURÉLIEN: To invite representative from DG-MARE to outline funding opportunities
PHILIP: To investigate developing ESD/AESD database
ALAIN & JOUNI: To work on draft guidelines for the use of volunteers and students
ALAIN & PHILIP: To suggest draft guidelines for ERVO meeting
JOUNI: To circulate first call for ISOSD in early 2009

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