International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) have won the prestigious Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award for 2003. At a ceremony in Oslo City Hall on 3 June, Mr. Terje J K Andersen, President of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and Chairman of the Awarding Committee, praised the role that ITOPF plays in providing advice and assistance, without charge, to government authorities all over the world in dealing with accidental spills of oil and other substances from ships. He stated that ITOPF is "a brilliant example of knowledge management and knowledge sharing".
Dr. Ian White accepted the Award together with a cheque for USD100,000. He expressed his gratitude for recognising ITOPF's achievements over the past 35 years in helping to protect the marine environment and its users from the damaging effects of accidental spills of oil, chemicals and other substances from ships. "This Award", he added, "recognises the amazing foresight of the tanker owners who founded ITOPF in 1968 and the continuing commitment of the shipping and marine insurance industry to support an organisation dedicated to improving preparedness and response to ship-source spills around the world in an independent manner." He paid particular tribute to all of ITOPF's highly motivated staff, past and present, who through their combined efforts and dedication had established the organisation's international reputation. It is planned to use to the USD100,000 to fund research and educational activities that in turn will benefit the marine environment.