Measures for preventing air pollution from ships as well as energy efficiency requirements for ships are in the spotlight at a training event for eight countries* in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Gulf.
The regional workshop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (17-19 September) is covering IMO's MARPOL Annex VI treaty, which limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and includes energy-efficiency measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships. MARPOL Annex VI also prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances.
The workshop is also focusing on the ship fuel data collection system, in force since March 2018, which requires ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use.
The training is organised by IMO and PERSGA – the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. PERSGA, established under UN Environment's Regional Seas Programme, is a long-standing IMO partner in work to support sustainable governance of regional seas.
* Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and United Arb Emirates.
In the event of an oil pollution incident, prompt and effective action is essential in order to minimize environmental damage. A workshop in Manila, Philippines (17-20 September) aims to equip trainers with the necessary skills to be able to deliver training on emergency response, preparation and planning.
The event also helps participants to familiarise themselves with key elements of the updated International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) model courses. The trainers learn teaching techniques and approaches to training delivery. The main objectives of the OPRC Convention are to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing for and responding to a marine pollution incident.
Nearly 30 delegates from five of the ten ASEAN Member States are attending the course, which is being implemented with the support of the Global Initiative for South East Asia (GI-SEA).
state-of-the-art Jeddah Maritime Information Sharing Centre is set to boost
information sharing and support maritime security in the region. The first 15
national operators to work in the centre have completed a three-week training
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (25 August – 12 Sep 2019) with the support of IMO.
envisaged that the centre will become fully operational by the end of the year.
It will serve both as a regional centre to share information through the
Djibouti Code of Conduct focal points, as well as sharing info with all
national agencies with responsibility for maritime security.
the adoption of the Jeddah
Amendment in 2017, participating States agreed on the need to enhance the
Djibouti Code of Conduct information sharing network to meet the increased
requirements of the revised code. Commitments include establishing multi-agency
National Maritime Information Sharing Centres in each of the participating
States. These Centres will be the backbone of the regional network, working to
encourage inter-agency cooperation between national agencies dealing with
Ghana is the latest country to benefit from training on the implementation of IMO maritime security standards in SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
The workshop (9 -13 September) was held in Accra, Ghana. Participants discussed ways to cooperate at the national level to acquire the necessary support they need in order to take ownership of implementation and compliance with the requirements.
The event brought together representatives from Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana port and harbour Authority, Ship owners and several ports operators, who have been trained to train other officials with similar responsibilities.
Oversight roles and responsibilities of the designated authority responsible for implementing the ISPS Code were also covered during the workshop.
The workshop on the ISPS Code for Designated Authority (DA) and Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) was organized by IMO and the Government of Ghana, under the auspices of IMO's Global Maritime Security Programme.
IMO is continuing its work to promote ratification of the
international treaty covering wreck removal – at the 10th Maritime Salvage
& Casualty Response Conference
in London, this week (11-12 September).
Depending on its location, a shipwreck may be a hazard to
navigation, potentially endangering other vessels and their crews. The
Nairobi Convention covers the legal basis for States to remove, or have
removed, shipwrecks, drifting ships, objects from ships at sea, and floating
The Nairobi convention includes provisions for coastal
States to take action in cases of container fires on board ships, as well as
loss of containers.
The Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention
has been in force since 2015 and currently has 47 contracting States, representing
73% of world gross tonnage.
IMO’s World Maritime theme for 2019 – “Empowering
women in the Maritime Community” has featured prominently in events
at the London International
Shipping Week (9-13 September). A seminar co-hosted by Inmarsat and
WISTA international (10 September) explored the theme of Diversity and
Digitalisation in the Shipping Industry.
Opening the event, IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim said, “If the fundamental nature of work is changing, this is the
perfect time to re-examine and re-assess traditional roles and expectations in
the workforce – and that means embracing diversity, and equality.” He stressed
that promoting gender equality in shipping was important not only for its own
sake, but also for the practical reality that shipping must draw talent from
every corner of the globe and every sector of the population to secure its own
IMO has been running a highly
successful programme to promote women in the maritime community for
more than 30 years. With IMO's help, seven regional Women in Maritime
Associations have been established, covering more than 150 countries and
dependent territories. IMO provides gender-specific fellowships and
scholarships, both at its own maritime education establishments – the
International Maritime Law Institute and the World Maritime University – and at
This year, to help celebrate the World
Maritime theme, IMO is undertaking a range of initiatives and events, such as
panel discussions, a social media campaign and has launched a new film – Turning
When developing policies or strategies affecting the ocean, the United Nations system needs to base its work on a solid, scientific foundation. That is provided by GESAMP, a unique independent body administered by IMO and which, this week, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
GESAMP is the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection. It is the independent body of experts that advises the United Nations system on both on-going and newly arising marine environmental scientific issues.
It's 50th anniversary was celebrated at the UN Headquarters in New York (10 September) at an event co-hosted by the UN Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea and the UN Development Programme. The event highlighted GESAMP's past achievements, its current work and explored possibilities for its future contributions.
For a fascinating insight into the history and achievements of this vital yet often unsung body, visit the GESAMP website.
The 2019 World Maritime Week kicked off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (10 September), with an opening session dedicated to "Encouraging gender diversity in the maritime industry" in recognition of this year's IMO World Maritime theme.
During the session, IMO showcased its Women in Maritime gender programme. The primary objective of the IMO Women in Maritime programme is to encourage IMO Member States to open the doors of their maritime institutes to enable women to train alongside men and acquire the high-level of competence that the maritime industry demands.
Made up of an international panel of women in the maritime sector, stimulating debates followed. More than 400 participants across the maritime industry in Malaysia, including maritime authorities, sectoral professionals, academia, industry leaders and experts attended the event to meet, network and promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas.
The event was organized by the Malaysia Shipowners' Association (MASA).
Nigerian officials dealing with oil spill liability and
compensation are undergoing training under the GI WACAF – a collaboration
between IMO and IPIECA to strengthen oil spill response capacity in west,
central and southern Africa.
Seventy participants from across national authorities,
federal government and oil and maritime industries are taking part in the
workshop in Lagos, Nigeria (10-12 September).
The training is focused on how to implement IMO conventions
dealing with liability. It includes technical presentations, case studies and
table-top exercises on cost evaluation and compensation procedures.
event, run by experts from IOPC Funds
and ITOPF, is the first to be organised by
the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the
National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
Ports are essential for the global supply chain - but do they need more international regulation? High-level speakers engaged in a lively debate at a joint Hutchison Ports/IMO/IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) seminar (9 September), to address the question: "Do ports need international regulation?". Click for photos.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim reminded the audience that the IMO Convention does give the Organization a mandate to regulate in ports and some current IMO regulations do indeed extend to port operations - for example those surrounding security, reception facilities and the Facilitation (FAL) Convention. "However, there are many opportunities to further explore and enhance the cooperation between shipping, ports and the logistics industries," Mr Lim said, adding that a port sector that can streamline procedures and remove barriers to trade, embrace new technologies, and treat safety, security and reputation as both desirable and marketable, will be a major driver towards stability and sustainable development – and support the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGS).
Speakers agreed that more dialogue with ports and more involvement from port-related stakeholders at IMO were necessary, particularly with advancements in automation and digitalisation. Ports are becoming increasingly relevant in actions to combat climate change and reduce shipping emissions, including supply of low-emission fuels for ships, port call optimisation and just-in-time operations and moves towards sustainable on-shore power supply, requiring port infrastructure and information exchange. But the extent of any international regulation needed to be carefully discussed. Capacity building was also key to ensuring harmonization and implementation of existing and any new international standards, codes of practices and guidelines.
United Kingdom Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP also highlighted the advances being made in the integrated supply chain. "What new standards will be needed is a question we need to answer," she said, adding that regulation needs to be responsive to new challenges and be fit for purpose.
Panellists reflected on the IMO World Maritime theme for 2019, Empowering Women in the maritime community, and welcomed increasing opportunities for females, especially with increasing automation of manual tasks in what is still a male-dominated sector, particularly on the dock side.
The event at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom was part of London International shipping Week (LISW). IMO's Frederick Kenney moderated. Participants were welcomed by Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports. Professor David Attard, Director, IMO International Maritime Law Institute, outlined the role of ports in maritime law and highlighted the importance of enforcement of regulations, including through implementation into national law, and the need for capacity building and training. Panellists were: Mr. Patrick Verhoeven, International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH); Mr. Guy Platten, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, The Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals (FEPORT); Andrew Higgs Setfords Solicitors; Ms. Sakura Kuma, Yokohama and Kawasaki International Port (YKIP); and Ms. Diana Whitney, Hutchison Ports.
The safety of ships carrying bulk cargoes depends on proper implementation of IMO rules - and training is crucial. A new IMO Model Course on Safe Handling and Transport of Solid Bulk Cargoes is expected to be validated by IMO's Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers when it meets this week (CCC 6, 9-13 September) (Photos here). The course will focus on the mandatory measures for handling and transport of solid bulk cargoes outlined in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which is the industry rulebook on how to deal with such cargoes. IMO model courses are designed to facilitate access to knowledge and skills. The course will cover all solid bulk cargoes, including those which may liquefy when moisture limits are reached and cause instability of the ship. These cargoes require that particular attention is paid to testing and recording moisture limits before loading.
Given the new fuels and/or fuel blends being developed to ensure compliance with the 0.50% sulphur limit (from 1 January 2020) and IMO 2030 and 2050 CO₂ emission targets, as outlined in the IMO GHG strategy, the work of the Sub-Committee on the safety provisions for ships using low-flashpoint fuels, will be considered as a high priority. The Sub-Committee will be looking at matters related to newer types of fuel, under the agenda item on the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
Draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel are expected to be finalised. Another set of draft interim guidelines being developed covers the safety of ships using fuel cell power installations.
Under its ongoing work on containers, the Sub-Committee will consider proposed amendments to the inspection programmes for cargo transport units carrying dangerous goods. The session is also expected to finalise the work to develop draft amendments to the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) related to weather-dependent lashing, aimed at ensuring the highest level of cargo securing, taking into account expected weather and other factors.
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Ms. Maryanne Adams of the Marshall Islands.
The latest course to prepare participants to deliver training to enhance security in the maritime domain has been delivered at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC), Djibouti (1-5 September).
Participants from 13 countries * learned teaching skills and were given instruction on dealing with maritime crimes at sea, including piracy/robbery, drug trafficking, marine terrorism, weapons smuggling and human trafficking.
The IMO-led course was funded through a Japanese contribution to the Djibouti Code of Conduct trust Fund. It was officially launched by the Japanese Ambassador to Djibouti, H.E. Koji Yonetani.
The training is part of an ongoing project which has to date supported 83 courses and benefitted nearly 1,690 trainees from the region.
* Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
The implementation of e-navigation - the user-friendly collection, harmonization and display of essential maritime information - will contribute to enhanced maritime safety and security and support efficient shipping while protecting the marine environment. Various e-navigation solutions are being developed, taking into account IMO guidance and regulations. The SMART-Navigation Project, organized and funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea, was presented during an IMO regional workshop on e-navigation for the Asia-Pacific region, held in Busan, Republic of Korea (4-6 September). The main aim of the workshop was to promote e-navigation amongst the participating countries from the Asia-Pacific region and discuss a way forward for collaboration and implementation under the theme "If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to far, go together", a key message that was emphasized by the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Mr. Seong-Hyeok Moon.
The IMO workshop was hosted by the Republic of Korea, through the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and organized by IMO and IALA. Participants also attended the e-Navigation Underway Asia-Pacific 2019 Conference in Seoul (2-3 September), and the Korea Maritime Safety Expo in Busan (4-6 September).
key IMO-supported international centre responsible for co-ordinating efforts to
protect the marine environment in the north-west Pacific Ocean is to expand its
areas of work, following a high-level meeting in Seoul.
MERRAC (the Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness
and Response Regional Activity Centre), is the focus for cooperation between China,
Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation on preventing spills,
and ensuring an effective joint response to any spills
that do occur in the region.
the latest meeting of focal points (28-30 August), the
four countries agreed to enhance their cooperation by
identifying new areas of work for MERRAC, such as monitoring illegal discharges under IMO’s MARPOL
convention, including by use of unmanned aircraft, and developing additional
response manuals for managing spills involving hazardous and noxious
substances (HNS), such as gasoline or liquefied gas. These new work
streams are expected to start in 2020.
was established in 2000 by IMO, UN Environment and the Republic of Korea under UN Environment's Regional
Seas Programme. Hosted
in the Republic of Korea, it is one of four Regional Activity Centres operating
within the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP).
meeting (the 22nd NOWPAP-MERRAC Focal Points Meeting) also
invited MERRAC to collaborate with similar centres established under other
Regional Seas Programmes, such as REMPEC in the Mediterranean and REMPEITC in the Caribbean. MERRAC is also to assist IMO’s Marine
Environment Protection Committee in developing an operational guide on responding
to HNS spills.
The seven South-East Asian countries
participating in IMO’s MEPSEAS* project have reiterated their commitment to
implementing high priority IMO conventions** which aim to protect the marine
Delegations from Cambodia, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, led by their Heads of
Maritime Administrations and other senior officials, gathered at the Second
High-level Regional Meeting of the project in Manila, Philippines (27-29
August). Special emphasis was put on MARPOL Annex V, which covers pollution
from ships by garbage, given the major threat posed by plastic pollution in the
region – one of the planet’s worst affected areas.
The Manila meeting provided a platform to
take stock of the first two years of the MEPSEAS project, which is implemented
by IMO in partnership with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
(Norad), and to plan for the next two years.
Looking ahead, the delegations emphasized
their interest in the capacity building component of the project, which will
focus on compliance, monitoring and enforcement; and on developing and
implementing administrative procedures for port State control and flag State
Cooperation under the Tokyo MoU umbrella was explored. The meeting also
discussed the plans for a regional conference focussed on green technologies
for maritime transport, to be held in 2020.
The delegations also addressed
the subject of women’s rights and gender equality – one of the developmental
objectives of the project. They unanimously supported a proposal to consider
engaging with the project strategic partner, Women in Maritime Association,
Asia (WIMA Asia), for organising awareness raising seminars on marine
environmental issues and to promote strategies and policies on gender equality.
The meeting was hosted by the Maritime
Industry Authority of Philippines (MARINA). It was attended by IMO and Norad representatives
and MEPSEAS strategic partners (Singapore, Tokyo MoU Secretariat, PEMSEA and WIMA Asia) and an observer from MTCC-Asia.
Environment Protection of the South-East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS)
** The International Convention
for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); the Anti-Fouling
Systems Convention (AFS); the London dumping of
wastes at sea convention and protocol (LC/LP); and the Ballast Water Management
Proper implementation of IMO's maritime security measures is essential for trade. The Seychelles is the latest country to benefit from training on the implementation of SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
Participants discussed ways to cooperate at the national level to acquire the necessary support they need in order to take ownership of implementation and compliance with IMO maritime security measures. They also learned how to train other officials with similar responsibilities.
The workshop which concluded today in Mahe, Seychelles (26-30 August) brought together Port facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and representatives involved in maritime and port security, including Seychelles Ports Authority, Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration, Customs, Seychelles Coast Guard Service, maritime police, and several other port operators.
Oversight roles and responsibilities of the designated authority responsible for implementing the ISPS Code were also covered during the workshop.
The workshop on the ISPS Code for Designated Authority (DA) and Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) was organized by IMO and the Government of Seychelles, under the auspices of IMO's Global Maritime Security Programme.
Developing and maintaining sound capability to respond effectively to marine pollution incidents involving oil, hazardous and noxious substances is a priority in the Caribbean, which is home to many vulnerable ecosystems.
In response, the Curacao-based Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre for the Caribbean (REMPEITC-Caribe) organized a transboundary oil spill response exercise in Suriname (27-28 August).
The event brought together response managers from Suriname and their western neighbour Guyana to test their response plans and discuss international coordination in case of an oil spill. The workshop built on previous national contingency planning workshops held in both countries, examining revisions made to both plans.
All these activities are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14 – Life Below Water, as they aim to develop capacity to protect marine and coastal ecosystems.
IMO funded the event and also sponsored a female Guyanese representative to attend the event through its IMO Women in Maritime programme.
IMO has delivered the latest in a series of initiatives designed to help put the maritime sector into the mainstream of plans and initiatives to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by world leaders in 2015.
The United Nations development system collectively supports countries working to achieve the SDGs through a mechanism called the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). Through the UNSDCF, UN country teams and national authorities work together to identify plans and priorities for development at the national level.
Under its own strategic plan, IMO is working with national maritime authorities to help them ensure that the maritime sector is given due consideration when national plans and initiatives are formulated within the umbrella of the UNSCDF. Maritime activity is seen an essential component of any programme for future sustainable economic growth and most of the elements of the 2030 Agenda will only be realized with a sustainable transport sector supporting world trade and facilitating global economy.
Earlier this month (19-20 August), IMO helped deliver a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand to assist maritime authorities from Asian countries to build maritime activity into their national plans for the SDGs. This was the second such workshop, following a similar event in Chile (2018). Further workshops are planned for Africa and the Pacific region. The workshop was organized and delivered in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UN DCO).
Changing climatic conditions are opening up the polar regions to more and more maritime activity. But ships which operate in the harsh Arctic and Antarctic regions are exposed to many unique risks – so their safety, and the protection of the polar environment, have always been a matter of concern for IMO. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is visiting Ilulissat, Greenland (25-29 August) to participate in a high-level roundtable on Arctic shipping. It is the first ever visit to Greenland by an IMO Secretary-General.
During his opening remarks, Mr Lim emphasised the need for balanced and sustainable shipping activities in Arctic waters. He added that maritime infrastructure needs to be further developed and that more collaboration is necessary, considering the challenges ships face operating in polar waters. Naalakkersuisoq Karl Frederik Danielsen, Greenland's Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, said that IMO's Polar Code, which stipulates mandatory safety and environmental standards for ships in Polar waters, is an instrument of great importance to Greenland. The event is co-sponsored by the Danish Maritime Authority and the Government of Greenland.
Somalia has more than 3,300 km of coastline, the longest and perhaps the most geographically significant in the Horn of Africa, four main commercial seaports and about five minor ports. But plagued by decades of civil war, a lot of effort is required to rebuild the sector.
IMO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) have organized a workshop in Mogadishu, Somalia (25-27 August 2019) to finalize the much-awaited Somalia Shipping Code with the hope that it will be enacted in parliament. The Somalia Shipping Code includes the necessary steps required to accede all key IMO treaties, enabling the country to meet its responsibilities in line with IMO instruments.
36 senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) have received technical training to continue developing the Shipping Code with the view to establish a National Maritime Administration for Somalia. The workshop was key in guiding and providing the necessary institutional infrastructure for the management and delivery of the international obligations necessary for the maritime sector to thrive in the region.
"The introduction of invasive aquatic organisms into new marine environments not only affects biodiversity and ecosystem health, but also has measurable impacts on a number of economic sectors" said Lilia Khodjet El Khil, head of the IMO-led GloFouling Partnerships project.
The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project has concluded two workshops, one workshop in
Madagascar and one in Mauritius (19-20 & 22-23 August, respectively), two of 12 lead partnering countries whose aim is to protect marine biodiversity by addressing biofouling.
During the first workshop, held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Captain Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina, added that "these invasive species can also pose a threat to public health through consumption of fish products". The overall impact can affect several sectors including, among others, maritime transport, natural resources, fisheries and tourism.
In Mauritius, Hon Mr. Premdut Koonjoo, Minister for Ocean
Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, highlighted the importance of SDG 14 and the role of marine environment to a sustainable future for Small Developing Island States such as Mauritius.
The two workshops also looked at who will make up national task forces in the region, as those roles will be crucial in leading and implementing a national strategy for addressing the issue of invasive aquatic species transferred through marine biofouling.
Invasive species are one of the five main direct drivers of change in nature and biodiversity loss, as recently confirmed by 150 leading international experts from over 50 countries in the IPBES Global Assessment Report of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
The GloFouling Partnerships is an IMO-executed project launched to protect marine biodiversity from the introduction of non-indigenous species into new ecosystems through biofouling. Biofouling is the process by which marine organisms can build up on ships' hulls and the surface of other marine structures.
The GloFouling Partnerships is helping its 12 lead partner countries to assess their current status in relation to invasive aquatic species, including an economic impact study, a guide for developing a national strategy, and specialised training courses on marine biofouling and legal issues related to the implementation of IMO's Biofouling Guidelines.
The IMO Secretariat is attending the latest in a series of conferences to develop a legally binding international instrument, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction - known as 'BBNJ'. The 3rd Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is being held at UN Headquarters in New York, United States (19-30 August). The current Conference session is the third in a series, with the fourth (final session) set to take place in the first half of 2020.
The current conference session is discussing the draft treaty text. IMO representatives are attending the plenary sessions and working groups on area-based management tools, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and technology transfer and cross-cutting issues. IMO has been present throughout the process of developing the BBNJ agreement, through the preparatory phase as well as the IGC, to provide the negotiating States with information and assistance in developing the new instrument.
IMO's has experience in developing universal binding regulations for international shipping to ensure shipping's sustainable use of the oceans, through more than 50 globally-binding treaties. IMO regulations are enforced throughout the world's oceans through a well-established system of flag, coastal and port State control. Many IMO measures actively contribute to the conservation of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by ships (MARPOL) and the International Ballast Water Management Convention - which aims to prevent the transfer of potentially invasive aquatic species - as well as the London Convention and Protocol regulating the dumping of wastes at sea. IMO has adopted numerous protective measures, which all ships must adhere to, both in and outside designated sensitive sea areas (PSSAs) and in special areas and emission control areas. These include strict rules on operational discharges as well as areas to be avoided and other ship routeing systems, including those aimed at keeping shipping away from whales' breeding grounds. IMO's Polar Code is mandatory for ships for operating in the Arctic and Antarctic. IMO has also issued guidance on protecting marine life from underwater ship noise.
In June 2019, the President of the Intergovernmental Conference, Mrs. Rena Lee of Singapore, addressed IMO Member State representatives at an event at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom, to heighten awareness of the interplay between the BBNJ instrument and the IMO mandate. The IMO Secretariat has also provided Member States with an analysis of relevant provisions of the draft BBNJ instrument with respect to the IMO mandate.
One of the key elements in oil spill contingency planning is to define the communication channels to be used by cooperating parties when facing an incident. A workshop in Pulau Indah, Klang, Malaysia (19-21 August) has brought together officials from states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to help bring into operation the Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan, which was adopted in 2018. Participants from nine countries got to grips with key elements of the plan and practised communications between States, in order to identify any gaps and lessons to be learned. The workshop will help drive forward the implementation of this recently adopted plan.
This workshop is being carried out under IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the Marine Department of Malaysia, at the Maritime Transport Training Institute, under the framework of the Global Initiative project for South East Asia (GI SEA), a joint project with the oil and gas industry (ipieca). It supports the implementation of IMO's Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (the OPRC 90 Convention).
The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan provides for a mechanism whereby ASEAN Member States can request for and provide mutual assistance in response to any oil spills. It also ensures a common understanding to enable the effective integration between the affected and assisting ASEAN Member States, in the event of incidents involving oil spills.
IMO maritime security training is underway for Libyan port facility security officers, managers and designated authority officials (18-22 August). The workshop, delivered in English and in Arabic, aims to assist the Libyan Government in enhanced security risk assessments and controls on maritime transport through its territory.
Fifteen officers in charge of port security from ports across the country are attending, including five from the national maritime security committee in charge of oversight the implementation of the Code in the country. Participants are being trained on how to perform their duties in line with SOLAS Chapter XI-2 (click for details), the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), and related guidance. Participants are also being taught to train other officials with similar responsibilities.
The workshop will also allow the IMO team to understand the level of knowledge and existing skills among the officials - with a view to assessing capacity and suitability of potential follow-up assistance. The event was organized at the request of the President of the Libyan Port and Maritime Transport Authority, and held in neighboring Tunisia.
Biodiversity can be threatened by organisms which can build up on ships' hulls and other marine structures, a process known as biofouling. During a workshop in Arraial do Cabo, Brazil (5 August), experts on biofouling and invasive species and others took the first steps towards setting up a national task force to tackle the issue. Brazil is one of 12 lead partnering countries in the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project, which aims to protect marine biodiversity by addressing biofouling.
Each lead partnering country's national task force will define a national policy on biofouling and invasive species and draft the national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines. The next step for GloFouling Partnerships in Brazil will be to develop national baseline reports to assess the current situation with regards to non-indigenous species, to identify any research currently available on the subject, to analyse the economic impacts and to determine the national legal framework.
The Glofouling workshop was held during the XIII Biofouling, Benthic Ecology and Marine Biotechnology Meeting (XIII BIOINC), hosted by the Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira (5-9 August). As well as national experts on biofouling and invasive species, participants included representatives from Marinha do Brasil, from other departments from federal and state administrations and from leading private sector companies such as Petrobras and Vale.
The IMO-executed GloFouling Partnerships project to address bioinvasions by organisms which can build up on ships' hulls and other marine structures is a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO. Twelve lead partnering countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tonga), four regional organizations, IOC-UNESCO, the World Ocean Council and numerous strategic partners have signed up to the project.