Nigeria ratifies international environmental convention
Federal Republic of Nigeria yesterday became the fifth country to ratify the International
Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments
when Minister of Transport Dr. Abiye Sekibo deposited an instrument of ratification
with IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos.
ballast water convention, adopted by IMO in 2004, is designed to prevent the potentially
devastating effects of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms carried in ships'
ballast water. The Convention will require all ships to implement a Ballast Water
and Sediments Management Plan. All ships will have to carry a Ballast Water Record
Book and will be required to carry out ballast water management procedures to
a given standard.
the minister for the ratification Mr. Mitropoulos emphasized the importance of
early, wide and effective implementation of the Convention, which will enter into
force 12 months after ratification by 30 States, representing 35 per cent of world
merchant shipping tonnage. To date, the Convention has five ratifications, Nigeria
joining the Maldives, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Mr. Mitropoulos said he hoped this latest ratification would provide a spur to
other shipping nations with larger fleets and encourage them to do what was necessary
to bring the Convention into force as early as possible.
The problem of harmful aquatic organisms in ships' ballast water was first
raised at IMO in 1988 and since then IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee
(MEPC), together with the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and technical sub-committees,
have been addressing the issue, focusing first on guidelines and then on developing
the ballast water convention.
The problem has been exacerbated in recent years due to increased trade and
traffic volumes. The effects in many areas of the world have been devastating.
Quantitative data show the rate of bio-invasions is continuing to increase at
an alarming rate, in many cases exponentially, and new areas are being invaded
all the time. Volumes of seaborne trade continue overall to increase and the
problem may not yet have reached its peak.
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast
Water and Sediments was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO),
the United Nations agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping
and the prevention of marine pollution from ships, at an international conference
held from 9 to13 February 2004 at IMO's London Headquarters.
40, 14 October 2005
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.
Web site: www.imo.org
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