The joint initiative of IMO, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the issue of invasive species in ships’ ballast water marked a new phase in the international effort to tackle the problem. Following the success of the original ‘Global Ballast Water Management’ project IMO is currently executing a five-year project to sustain the global momentum in tackling the ballast water problem and to catalyse innovative global partnerships to develop solutions.
The full title of this project is Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries to Reduce the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms in Ships’s Ballast Water. It is more simply referred to as GloBallast Partnerships (GBP)
GBP’s main aim is to assist developing countries to reduce the risk of aquatic bio-invasions mediated by ships’ ballast water and sediments. With the help of tools developed and lessons learned from the pilot project, GBP is working to:
- expand government and port management capacities;
- instigate legal, policy and institutional reforms at national level;
- develop mechanisms for sustainability; and
- drive regional coordination and co-operation.
The project also aims to spur global efforts to develop technology solutions, and enhance global knowledge management and information exchange to support marine biosecurity initiatives.
GBP has a significant Public-Private Sector Partnership component. Private sector participation is achieved through the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) and GIA Fund, established with partners from major maritime companies. GIA currently has such industry members as BP Shipping, Vela Marine International, Daewoo Shipbuilding &Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. and APL.