The IMO Council has unanimously agreed to award the prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2010 posthumously to Ms Linda (Lindy) Johnson of the United States of America, for her significant contribution to the work of IMO, in particular with regard to the protection of the marine environment.
Ms Johnson, who passed away in October 2010 after a long illness, joined the Office of General Counsel for International Law of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1992 and was a regular member of the United States delegation to meetings of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) from 1995 until her retirement in 2010.
Ms Johnson was involved in the negotiation of many international environmental treaty instruments, having served as Chair for a number of important IMO working, drafting and technical groups, as well as acting as coordinator for several correspondence groups.
She played a crucial role in the development of revised procedures for the designation of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) and was directly involved in the PSSA designation of the sea around the Florida Keys, United States (2002) and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, United States (2007). She also provided technical assistance to Ecuador leading to the designation of the Galapagos Archipelago PSSA in 2005.
Ms Johnson also distinguished herself in IMO’s work to protect cetaceans and chaired the IMO working group which led to the adoption of the 2009 Guidance document for minimizing the risk of ship strikes with cetaceans.
She also chaired drafting groups on environmental provisions for the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships, in 1997, and on the revision of MARPOL Annex VI, in 2008.
Ms Johnson will be honoured for her exceptional efforts and achievements and her passion and untiring dedication to marine environmental protection have earned her a very special place within the international maritime community.
International Maritime Prize
The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of IMO. It consists of a sculpture in the form of a dolphin and includes a financial award. The prize will be presented to Ms Johnson’s husband at a special ceremony during the next session of the MEPC (11 to 15 July).
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
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