Millions of people around the world celebrated the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, under the campaign theme, #AtSeaForAll. Across social media, the message that seafarers are indispensable to the world gained momentum in 165 countries across all the continents. A Twitter Thunderclap reached nearly 13 million people. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim celebrated the day at a special Day of the Seafarer event in Manila, Philippines. Mr Lim hailed the seafarers who are the “beating heart” of the shipping world and who quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion. More than 12,000 people have taken part in a fun, interactive quiz, which is still available on the IMO website and the online “Photo Wall’ is open for new photos. IMO videos, including the Day of the Seafarer message and a series of short interviews about a day in a seafarer’s life, can be viewed here. IMO's new Instagram account can be followed here.
The United Kingdom has become the first State to formally accept the 2013 marine geoengineering amendments to the 1996 “London Protocol”, the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea. The amendments support the precautionary approach by providing for specific marine geoengineering activities to be permitted only when the activity is assessed as constituting legitimate scientific research. Currently, only ocean fertilization for research purposes may be permitted.
Meanwhile, the marine scientific expert group GESAMP is currently undertaking a comprehensive study on marine geoengineering to better understand the potential impacts of proposed marine geoengineering techniques on the marine environment – including social and economic consequences.
The London Protocol entered into force ten years ago, modernizing the original “London Convention” dumping treaty by prohibiting all dumping at sea with the exception of wastes commonly agreed by Governments and then put on an approved list.
IMO Directors Frederick Kenney (Legal and External Relations Division) and Stefan Micallef (Marine Environment Division) welcomed Mr. Alan Beckwith, from the Treaty Section of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, who handed over the instrument of acceptance of the amendment at IMO Headquarters, London, today (24 June).
This amendment forms an important part of a series of efforts by Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol to address climate change. Already in 2006, the LP Contracting Parties took ground-breaking steps to provide a global regulatory framework for climate change mitigation, when they adopted amendments regulate carbon capture and sequestration in sub-sea geological formations. The 2006 amendments, which have entered into force for all Parties, created a legal basis in international environmental law to regulate carbon capture and storage in sub-seabed geological formations for permanent isolation.
A national workshop in Saint Lucia has brought together participants from various Government bodies and other stakeholders to discuss the development of a national maritime transport policy. The workshop is aimed at highlighting the promotion and development of such a policy as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and relevant legislative action. IMO is running the workshop (22-24 June) in close cooperation with the Saint Lucia Airports and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to IMO.
The workshop forms part of IMO’s initiative to assist IMO Member States, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Least Developing Countries (LDCs), to develop national maritime transport policy, with a view to ensuring a sustainable maritime transport system and facilitate the achievement of the maritime related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
World Maritime University Associate Professors Patrick Donner and George Theocharidis are delivering the workshop, with support from IMO’s Jonathan Pace and Nicolaos Charalambous.
On the margins of the workshop, Mr Charalambous and Mr Pace met the Hon Mr Stevenson King, the newly-appointed Minister of Infrastructure, Ports and Labour of Saint Lucia and Ms Allison Jean, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry. During the meeting, which was also attended by Mr Tafawa Williams, Alternate Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to IMO, the two sides discussed the maritime IMO-related priorities of Saint Lucia and possible areas where IMO may be able to assist the maritime development of the Island by providing technical assistance or fellowships for studies of qualified candidates at IMO’s international training institutes, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).
The IMO team also met other officials, including Mr Julian Dubois, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Keigan Cox, General Manager of SLASPA, and Mr Christopher Alexander, Director, Maritime Affairs at SLASPA and discussed similar issues.
Stakeholders have been updated on progress made by the safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC) project - Phase I, which is being executed and implemented by IMO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), in partnership with the Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS). At a recent workshop (15 June), updates were given on the various parts of phase I of the project, including completion or near completion of various studies and ongoing training activities. The Dissemination Workshop was jointly organized by the IMO, Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh and Secretariat of BRS, It was followed by a meeting of the Project Steering Committee and Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of Ms. Parag, Acting Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh (16 June).
The SENSREC project was launched in January 2015 and aims to improve safety and environmental standards within the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh. The first phase is expected to be completed by December 2016.
The legal and
operational aspects of wreck removal incidents are on the agenda at the “Wreck
Removal Contracts & Operations Seminar”
in London, United Kingdom (20-21 June). IMO’s Jan de Boer of the Legal Affairs
Office gave an insight into the Organization’s Nairobi Wreck Removal
which provides the legal basis for States to remove, or have removed,
shipwrecks that may threaten the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as
well as the marine environment. It also provides uniform international rules
for the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond territorial seas, and
optional application of the rules in countries’ territories, including territorial
Mr. De Boer
covered the operational actions which led to the need for international ruling,
the necessity of a unifying legal framework for States to act upon, and the
duties of the shipowner and rights of the authority under the convention.
He also covered the process of filling in the legal gaps and
complementing the prior legal framework.
The event is
organized by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy.
Maritime security experts have met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(15-17 June) to share expertise on how cooperation on maritime surveillance
monitoring and communication systems in the South Atlantic can benefit
countries in west and central Africa. Delegates from 11 African countries, the
Brazilian Navy and various African regional organizations and other countries shared
their experiences and challenges in enhancing maritime security, with a view to
improving maritime security through better maritime governance, maritime
situation awareness and cooperation across the South Atlantic.
The meeting also discussed the institutional framework
required to foster maritime governance and security in the South Atlantic. IMO
and the Brazilian Navy co-sponsored an “Experts Panel meeting on Maritime
Security in the South Atlantic” – a follow-up meeting to the Situational
Awareness Workshop also held in Brazil last year, which sought to identify
opportunities for technical cooperation, training and assistance to countries
which are part of the South Atlantic Maritime Coordination Area.
Additionally, IMO’s Chris Trelawny had the privilege of
awarding the prestigious Brazilian Maritime Safety Award, to the Brazilian
naval ship corvette Almirante Barroso, which
was involved in rescuing 220 immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea in September last year. Gisela Vieira, Maritime Safety Division, joined Mr. Trelawny in
representing IMO at the various activities.
IMO will have an important contribution to make to the UN 2017 Oceans Conference, which is being co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden from 5 to 9 June 2017 and aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). Through the development of global standards to ensure shipping does not adversely impact the environment and through its extensive technical cooperation programme, IMO supports the aims and objectives of SDG 14.
Preparations for the 2017 Oceans Conference were discussed when Stefan Micallef, IMO’s Director, Marine Environment Division, met the representative of the co-host, H.E. Ambassador Mr Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations and President-elect for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (16 June).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the crucial work of maritime training institutes to train and equip new generations of seafarers and other shipping personnel, during a visit (16 June) to the Romanian Maritime Training Centre CERONAV, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. During the formal festivities, Mr Lim congratulated CERONAV for its work in training seafarers during the past four decades and commended Romania for its active and enthusiastic participation in the IMO Maritime Ambassadors Scheme, with the appointment of three Romanian IMO Maritime Ambassadors, who are helping to promote seafaring as a career and raise the visibility of the shipping industry.
On Friday (17 June), Mr Lim met Romanian senior Government officials including the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Florin Iordache; the President of the Committee for Infrastructure and Transport in the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Mihai Lupu; the Minister of Transport, Mr Dan Marian Costescu; the State Secretary Mr. Liviu Ionut Mosteanu; along with CERONAV General Manager and Chairman of Board of Directors Mr Ovidiu Sorin Cupşa.
contributing to a United Nations meeting
covering marine debris, plastics and microplastics in New York (13-17 June).
Discussions are focusing on information exchange between key players involved
in the protection of the marine environment – in the context of the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),
which establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their
resources. IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director of the Marine Environment Division,
took part in a panel on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of
marine debris, plastics and microplastics.
He provided an overview of the progress made in preventing,
reducing and controlling pollution in this field, including an overview of
IMO’s work to address this issue. This includes IMO’s MARPOL convention for the prevention
of pollution from ships, which bans the disposal of plastics into the sea from
ships and generally prohibits the discharge
of all garbage
into the sea, except in certain very specific circumstances, and
the London Convention/Protocol, which in effect bans the dumping of plastics
at sea. The Organization
is also a co-lead for sea-based litter in the Global Partnership on
Marine Litter and manages the GESAMP group of scientific experts, which studies the impact
in the marine environment.
In addition to
this week’s meeting, Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag will represent IMO at the
annual face to face meeting of UN-Oceans,
where recent progress of joint activities, and the 2016-2017 work programme is
Peru has acceded to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention), the IMO treaty designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. This brings the number of States party to the BWM Convention to 51, representing 34.87% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage. Ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Claudio
de la Puente Ribeyro, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London (10 June) to hand over the instrument of accession.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has reiterated his request to countries that have not already done so, to ratify the BWM Convention as soon as possible in order to establish a certain date for entry into force, which will facilitate the work to make any necessary amendments to the Convention.
IMO officials have been prominent at the biennual Posidonia
shipping industry trade fair which is taking place this week (6-10 June) in
Athens, Greece. Secretary-General Kitack Lim joined Greece’s Prime Minister
Tsipras at the formal opening of the event, where he spoke of how shipping is
essential to the sustainable development and growth of the global economy and
about IMO’s work to ensure that shipping itself reflects the increasingly
higher expectations that society now has regarding safety standards and
Later in the week, he spoke at a working lunch at the
Piraeus Marine Club and at the Shipowners Forum organized by maritime media
Elsewhere, IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu gave an update
on IMO’s work on environmental issues to a forum organized by the North
American Marine Protection Association and the American-Hellenic Chamber of
Commerce, and participated in a conference entitled “Where is shipping heading
after COP21”, organized by the Hellenic Marine Protection Association.
The Dominican Republic has today (9 June) acceded to the IMO
convention that specifies global standards of training, certification and
watchkeeping for seafarers (the STCW Convention). H.E. Dr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo,
Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UK, met IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim at IMO HQ, London to hand over the instrument of accession.
Secretary-General Kitack Lim has opened the Legal Committee, 103rd session
(8-10 June). Items on the agenda include: facilitation of the entry into force
and implementation of the 2010 HNS
convention and discussion of future work needed to ensure the fair treatment of seafarers in
the event of a maritime accident. The meeting (photos) will consider a submission
requesting the Committee to add to its work programme the development of a new
instrument on the foreign judicial sales of ships and their recognition. Another proposal for consideration relates to the delegation of authority to issue certificates under the CLC
and HNS Conventions and suggests the development of a single model certificate
for all liability conventions. Also on the agenda are liability and compensation issues connected with
transboundary pollution damage resulting from offshore oil exploration and
of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west
and central Africa is on the agenda at a meeting of the G7 Group of Friends of
the Gulf of Guinea in Lisbon, Portugal (6-7 June). The meeting is focusing on
implementation of the Code
of Conduct, which was signed by governments in the region, in 2013, to
enhance cooperation to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea.
meeting will assess future prospects of the implementation process, including
efforts of the private sector to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of
Guinea. Additionally, participants will examine international initiatives in
the region, including Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIM
2050), the European Union Strategy
for the Gulf of Guinea, together with initiatives by the United Nations Office
on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the
Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
Portuguese Presidency of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++
FoGG) is hosting the meeting. IMO is represented by Gisela Vieira.
IMO’s aims of building on existing guidelines and tools to
assist in improved implementation of security measures in ports have been
outlined at the 7th annual International Port Security conference
in London, United Kingdom (1-2 June). Chris Trelawny of the Maritime Safety Division highlighted how improved cooperation between ports and ships will enhance
the efficiency of the maritime sector as a whole. He emphasized the importance
of working with developed and developing countries, shipping, public and
private sector ports in order to promote best practices and build bridges
between the diverse sectors.
To-date, IMO’s range of guidance and tools surrounding
security measures in ports and port facilities include: model courses for port
facility security officers; guidelines on training and certification for port
facility security officers; and the Guide to Maritime Security and ISPS Code.
An IMO workshop in Djibouti (1-2 June) has addressed ways to
reduce the effects of biofouling, which occurs when aquatic organisms
accumulate on ships’ hulls with potentially harmful effects for marine
ecosystems. Officials involved in protecting the marine environment discussed
how to manage the issue, including how to implement IMO’s 2011 Biofouling
Guidelines, which provide a globally consistent approach to managing
biofouling and reducing the transfer of invasive aquatic species by ships.
Thirty-four representatives from various authorities and
stakeholders in Djibouti participated in the workshop. The Regional
Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of
Aden (PERSGA) facilitated the organization of the event, which was hosted by
the Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and the Environment of Djibouti. IMO was
represented by Markus Helavuori.
An IMO workshop has raised awareness of the organization's regulatory regime dealing with improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships. Participants from Chinese governmental departments, academia and other related bodies attended the three-day "MARPOL Annex VI and Technology Transfer" workshop in Dalian, China (30 May - 1 June). The event was organized under IMO's GloMEEP project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping in developing countries. China is one of the 10 GloMEEP lead pilot countries.
The workshop was co-hosted by China MSA and Dalian Maritime University (DMU). Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants represented IMO at the event.
The IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) has held its 27th annual Graduation
Ceremony at the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, Malta (28 May). Thirty-eight
students from 27 countries graduated from programs covering all areas of
international maritime law, including international law of the sea, shipping
law, marine environmental law, international maritime security law and maritime
legislation drafting. Speaking at the ceremony, IMO Secretary-General Kitack
Lim heralded the Institute and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.
He told them that there were now “oceans of opportunities before them to make
their own unique waves in the maritime world as they move onto new and exciting
Secretary-General Lim and IMLI Director Professor David
Attard were joined at the ceremony by the Honourable Dr. George Vella, Minister
for Foreign Affairs of Malta; the Honourable Mr. Joe Mizzi, Minister for
Transport and Infrastructure of Malta; IMLI graduate Mrs. Joyce Mogtari, Deputy
Minister for Transport of Ghana; IMO’s Nicolaos Charalambous, Director,
Technical Co-operation Division and Frederick Kenney, Director, IMO Legal
Affairs and External Relations Division; members of IMLI’s governing board: Mr. Jim Harrison, Mr. Kofi Mbiah and Mr. Masamichi Hasebe; Mr.
Tom Birch Raynardson, Trustee, CMI Charitable Trust; and members of the diplomatic community and judiciary.
Saint Lucia has acceded to four IMO treaties, including
important conventions covering ballast water management (BWM
Convention) and emissions from ship exhausts and energy efficiency (MARPOL
Annex VI). Mr. Tafawa Williams, Alternate Permanent Representative of Saint
Lucia to IMO, met IMO’s Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External
Relations Division, to deposit the instruments of accession, today (26 May). This
brings the number of States party to the Ballast Water Management Convention to
50, representing 34.81% of the world's merchant fleet tonnage.
The full list of treaties acceded to by Saint Lucia is as
- the International Convention for the Control and
Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM
- Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention for
the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of
1978 relating thereto (MARPOL
- the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker
Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (BUNKERS 2001)
- International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F
A national workshop on the treaty covering dumping of wastes at
sea, the London
Protocol, is being held in Hanoi, Viet Nam (26-27 May). The workshop is raising
awareness among stakeholders on the impacts of dumping of wastes and other
matters at sea, as well as the regulatory framework provided by the London
Protocol. Additionally, participants gained first-hand experience of dredging
and disposal activities in a visit to the Lach Hyen Port infrastructure project
near Hai Phong.
The workshop is being organized by IMO and the Vietnam Maritime
Administration (VINAMARINE) and attended by some 50 participants from various Vietnamese
stakeholders at the VINAMARINE headquarters in Hanoi. IMO’s Fredrik Haag is
coordinating the event together with two experts from the Korean Institute of
Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) of the Republic of Korea.
A new GESAMP working group on marine geoengineering
held its first meeting at IMO Headquarters, London, this week (23-25 May). The
overall objective of the Working Group (WG 41) is to better understand the
potential impacts of proposed marine geoengineering techniques on the marine
environment – including social and economic consequences. The Group will also
provide advice to the London
Protocol Parties to assist them in identifying those marine geoengineering
techniques that may be sensible to be considered for listing in the new Annex 4
of the Protocol.
Group, established at the forty-second session of GESAMP, held in Paris last
year, is being led by IMO with the support from IOC of UNESCO and
WMO. This first, inception meeting, under the chairmanship of Dr. Chris
Vivian (United Kingdom) and Professor Philip Boyd (Australia), included
scientists from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United
States. The Group will deliver an initial
high level assessment report to the nine UN Sponsoring Agencies which make up
GESAMP, in 2017.
A national implementation workshop has been held in Jakarta, Indonesia (18-19 May), under the auspices of the IMO-Norad environmental project, which is supporting six east Asian countries to prepare for the ratification and implementation of key IMO marine environmental conventions. The Indonesian National Stakeholder Workshop and Project Monitoring Meeting discussed the National Implementation Plans for the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM) and the Anti-fouling Systems Convention (AFS), both of which Indonesia has acceded to. For the BWM convention, the meeting discussed the immediate next steps to develop detailed implementation regulations as well as plans to undertake port biological baseline surveys to support risks assessments and compliance monitoring and enforcement. More than 50 national stakeholders attended the meeting and workshop, which was facilitated by IMO’s Jose Matheickal. Support from the IMO-Norad Project has helped Indonesia to undertake necessary legal, policy and institutional reforms and prepare for the implementation of the BWM Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted IMO’s work to promote green and sustainable shipping at the ITF Green and Inclusive Transport Summit 2016 in Leipzig, Germany (18-20 May). Mr Lim highlighted mandatory energy efficiency measures already adopted and approved, as well as two major technology programmes to help improve energy efficiency in shipping and help the industry move towards a low-carbon future. During a side event on "Reducing CO2 from shipping: Acting on the Paris Agreement" Edmund Hughes, Head, Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency at IMO provided information on the work of the Organization to address GHG emissions from ships with a focus on the action taken by IMO to complement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Dr. Hughes reiterated that the challenge is not just one for IMO as the international regulator for shipping industry but extends to ship designers and marine engineers to develop the technological solutions, to those who operate and manage ships, to seafarers and those who educate them and, importantly, to the business of shipping, which needs to ensure that investment in innovative low carbon technologies is properly incentivised. Transport ministers from ITF Member countries attending the summit agreed a declaration on green and inclusive transport. The declaration recognises that growth in the maritime industry highlights the need for enhanced cooperation among transport stakeholders in order to promote the protection of the environment alongside sound framework conditions for the sector through continued collaboration at IMO.
cooperation between developing countries is on the agenda at the United Nations
High-Level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation,
New York (16-19 May). IMO is participating in the meeting, which is reviewing progress in initiatives such as the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. The event featured a session on cooperation
relating to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IMO continues to
link its technical cooperation programme to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 14 on
conserving and sustainably using the oceans.
The programme focuses on capacity building
and supports the exchange of ideas and networking among maritime
administrations and helps foster closer collaboration in the implementation of
IMO instruments. IMO is represented by Juvenal Shiundu.
An IMO workshop
is raising awareness of the organization’s regulatory regime dealing with
improving energy efficiency and the control of GHG emissions from ships.
Participants from Malaysian governmental departments, academia and other
related bodies are in attendance at the three-day “MARPOL
Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Johor, Malaysia
(16-18 May). The event is organized under IMO’s GloMEEP
project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
measures for shipping in developing countries. Malaysia is one of the 10
GloMEEP lead pilot countries.
which is co-hosted by the Marine Department Malaysia and Johor Port Authority, included an excursion to the container terminal of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, where
participants learnt about the port’s energy efficiency initiatives and
represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of consultants.