In 2013, the WGWAP has launched its new Recommendations Database, which brings together all recommendations from the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) and related workshops, the Interim Independent Scientists Group (IISG) and the WGWAP meetings up to the most recent one.

The present database includes all recommendations up to and including the WGWAP-16 meeting held in November 2015.

Click here or on the image below to browse the database.

WGWAP database screenshot


This database is expected to be a valuable tracking tool for all stakeholders. As such, the Panel wishes to emphasize four things: 

  • First, it is the responsibility of IUCN to manage the database and ensure that all formal recommendations from the Panel as well as all formal responses by Sakhalin Energy are included in it,
  • Second, although other parties including Sakhalin Energy and IUCN are encouraged to provide advice and suggest changes, the designation of current status for each recommendation (i.e. closed vs. open etc.) is for the Panel to decide and the final determination rests with the Panel’s chair,
  • Third, status designations can be changed at any time, i.e. the database is meant to be a living source. However, changes must be made according to a set procedure that involves consultation by IUCN with the Panel chair, who will be responsible for ensuring Panel concurrence,
  • Finally, it is the Panel’s expectation that those who use the database will do so with respect for the process, bearing in mind the limitations of such a database, including the fact that at any given point in time, many of the recommendations will not fit exactly into only one status category and some status designations may not be entirely up to date. In other words, the database should not be treated as a precisely kept scorecard of performance but rather as a mechanism to ensure that nothing important ‘falls through the cracks’ and that progress is always being made towards full compliance with the WGWAP Terms of Reference.

Within the database, recommendations can be sorted according to category, meeting, topic and status, or searched by keywords in the fields of recommendation texts, responsible parties, Sakhalin Energy responses and other.

Recommendation topics

Within the database, recommendations can be filtered by the following topics:

  • Environmental Monitoring,
  • Noise,
  • Oil Spill Associated Risks,
  • Photo ID and Population Assessment,
  • South Piltun,
  • Traffic and MMO,
  • The Rest (including carcass detection and necropsy, cumulative effects, data archiving, mapping and spatial data, multivariate analysis, non-Sakhalin Energy groups, satellite tagging, Sakhalin Energy work plan and WGWAP implementation).

Recommendation status categories

There are ten categories for the status of recommendations:

  • Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot,
  • Closed - moot,
  • Closed - superseded by a new recommendation,
  • Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily,
  • Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily but needs to be tracked regularly,
  • Open - in progress,
  • Open - no action yet taken,
  • Open - in need of clarification/expansion,
  • Retracted by WGWAP,
  • Rejected by Sakhalin Energy.

Most of the status categories are self-explanatory. However, one of them – the first in the above list – requires explanation. Each construction season since 2005, the first to which these recommendations apply, has been characterized by a different array of anthropogenic activities and as a result, the types of recommendations have varied. Some of them apply to particular activities in particular years and, once those activities (e.g. platform construction, pipeline placement) are completed and the year has gone by, the recommendation is either implemented or moot and thus should be closed. In order to signify the difference between outdated recommendations that were implemented to the Panel’s satisfaction and those that were only partially implemented or not implemented in a satisfactory manner, the Panel has established the category ‘Closed – no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot’.