The GoGIN team organised a complete crisis management exercise in Cape Verde from 4 to 12 December 2019 in collaboration with the coast guard of Cape Verde. This first collaboration with the Cape Verde authorities enabled work with thirty participants from 8 administrations (with a majority of coast guards). The team of trainers was composed of 6 GoGIN experts and a CRESMAO trainer.
The exercise unfolded in multiple phases: a theoretical formation phase from 4 to 6 December in the COSMAR premises in Praia, a preparation phase on 9 and 10 December, and an exercise and debriefing on 11 December.
The first three days were dedicated to theoretical presentations on maritime law, the legal context of the fishing regulation and that of maritime pollution, in addition to GoGIN trainers, representatives of Cape Verdean institutions presented the legal context of their country, the problems they have encountered and case studies.
The exercise scenario dealt with a complex situation combining search and rescue, marine pollution and tracking of suspicious vessels. A crisis cell was set up to be shared between COSMAR in Praia and JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre) in Mindelo harbour.
The preparation phase integrated the training of a visiting team as well as training in crisis communication. This exercise facilitated staff training on an operational level as well as on a national authority decision making level. The particular configuration of the two operational centres, one in Praia and the other in Mindelo, with specific responsibilities in an multi domain context, enabled the evidencing of the importance of inter-administration coordination in responding to different maritime crisis situations.
Furthermore, the scenario allowed for the strengthening of information sharing procedures between national agencies. It also allowed for the improvement of information sharing with the Yaoundé Architecture, notably the CRESMAO, before the unfolding of the crisis situation.
To conclude, this training, very much appreciated by the authorities of Cape Verde, allowed for the testing and validation of the intervention and decision making capacity of the organisation of response apparatus in a complex crisis situation encompassing the areas of operations, judiciary and public relations.