A meeting to
update South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness
and response is underway in Male, Maldives (22-25 August). Senior officials
from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are sharing their
national experiences and consolidating updates to the plan with a view to
finalizing it. The event includes a regional training workshop on hazardous and
noxious substance (HNS) spills preparedness and response. Moving forward, the
participants will also identify future training needs and develop a three-year
training programme to enhance the region’s spill preparedness and response
The meeting is
the final activity of a project financed by the Norwegian Agency for
Development Cooperation (NORAD),
implemented by IMO through its regional partner – the South Asia Cooperative
Environment Programme (SACEP). The
project’s overall objective is to implement two key IMO treaties covering
pollution prevention – the OPRC
Convention and the OPRC-HNS
Protocol – in the South Asia region.
The event is
hosted by the Maldives Transport Authority, with support from the SACEP
Secretariat. The Minister of State for Economic Development of the Maldives,
H.E. Mr. Abdul Latheef Mohamed, opened the meeting, and emphasized the
importance of addressing oil and chemical spill issues for the region and the
need for enhanced regional cooperation. Experts from ITOPF, CEDRE and OSRL are
also participating, along with a team from IMO’s Marine Environment Division,
which includes Jose Matheickal, Yasuhiro Urano and John Alonso.
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 South African governmental
departments and other related bodies are in attendance at the three-day “MARPOL
Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Durban, South
Africa (23-25 August). The event is the latest in a series of workshops
organized under IMO’s GloMEEP
project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
measures for shipping in developing countries. South Africa is one of the 10
GloMEEP lead pilot countries.
A total of 25 participants from the Department of Transport,
Department of Energy, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa Maritime
Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Transnet
National Port Authority and others are taking part in the event.
IMO is represented by Astrid Dispert and a team of
Efforts to increase global fishing vessel safety have
received a boost with South Africa becoming the seventh State to ratify the
Town Agreement. The treaty, which implements the
Torremolinos Protocol, covers various important safety requirements
including radiocommunications, life-saving appliances and arrangements, and
emergency procedures, musters and drills. The Agreement will enter into force 12 months after it has
been ratified by 22 States which, collectively, have 3600 or more fishing
vessels of at least 24 metres in length operating on the high seas.
Mr. Peace Kennedy, Counsellor at the South African High
Commission in London, presented the instrument of ratification to IMO Senior
Legal Officer Jan De Boer at IMO Headquarters, London (19 August).
A national workshop promoting the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea, the London Protocol, is being held in Antananarivo, Madagascar (11-12 August). The workshop, the first of its kind held in the country, is raising awareness of the regulatory framework provided by the Protocol. It is thereby supporting Madagascar in protecting its marine environment from the dumping of wastes and other matter at sea.
The London Protocol, which this year commemorates its twentieth anniversary, has 47 contracting States to-date and is the subject of increasing interest among many countries in Africa and Asia.
The event is hosted by the Ports, Maritime and Rivers Agency of Madagascar (APMF) with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Edward Kleverlaan is representing IMO.
IMO’s continuing efforts to
promote environmentally sound shipping received a boost today with the launch
of Glomeep.imo.org. The new website provides important information and updates
on the Global Maritime Energy Eﬀiciency Partnerships (GloMEEP) project – a
GEF-UNDP-IMO initiative that supports the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
measures for shipping, thereby reducing the industry’s greenhouse gas
emissions. A key feature of the site is an information
portal on energy efficiency technologies – covering areas such as
machinery, propulsion and hull improvements, and energy recovery.
The portal builds on the work
undertaken by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to promote technical
cooperation and technology transfer relating to improving the energy efficiency
In addition to today’s
website launch (4 August), the International Association of Ports and Harbors
(IAPH) has joined the GloMEEP project as its third strategic partner, joining the
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Institute of Marine
Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), (find out more here).
Recent security exercises in the English Channel involving
military personnel on board ships have sparked heightened media interest in maritime
security in the region. As a result, IMO’s work in this field has been
highlighted on the UK news channel Sky News (2 August) by Chris Trelawny, IMO
Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation. Asked about ferry
security in the context of terrorism, Mr. Trelawny told the programme that “IMO
has developed a range of guidance and measures to protect shipping, and to
protect the ports serving shipping – including the International Ship and Port
Facility Security Code”. Watch extended clips of the interview here
Mr. Trelawny went on to explain that the ISPS
Code sets out a series of practical measures that ships and ports can take
to prevent acts of terrorism from taking place, which fits into the United
Nations counter-terrorism strategy
and national protection strategies.
Guatemala has become the 136th State to accede to the International
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC
1992 Protocol). The Convention ensures that adequate compensation is
available to people who suffer oil pollution damage from maritime casualties
involving oil-carrying ships, and places liability on the owner of the ship
from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged. H.E. Mr. Acisclo
Valladares Molina, Ambassador of Guatemala to the United Kingdom, met IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London (2 August) to deposit
the instrument of accession.
An IMO-led workshop in Maputo, Mozambique is supporting countries
in south-eastern Africa in implementing the STCW
Convention, which establishes international standards for training,
certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. The workshop (25-29 July) is
familiarizing maritime administrations and maritime training institutes
with all recent amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, including
the 2010 Manila Amendments, and supports maritime training
institutions in the region to improve teaching and assessment of seafarers in
accordance with the Convention.
The workshop is organized by IMO and hosted by the Mozambique
National Maritime Authority (INAMAR) for 10 international delegates from Cabo
Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and 14 participants from
Further progress towards identifying and designating Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) in south-east Asia has been made during a regional meeting in Lombok, Indonesia (27-28 July). Some 30 participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam and observers from Singapore met to identify any gaps in knowledge in potential areas to be selected and proposed to be designated as a PSSA by IMO. They also discussed additional assistance which may be required in developing final submissions to IMO. Participants were also introduced to the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) risk management toolbox, which is a modelling tool used to assess risk of collisions and groundings in a particular sea area.
The Third Regional Meeting on the Identification and Designation of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) in the ASEAN Sub-Region involving Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam was organized under the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and funded through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in
Mauritius (26-27 July) for participants from around 20 government agencies. The
exercise is highlighting the need for an integrated national approach to
implementation of maritime security measures, with particular reference to
IMO's Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
convention and International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS)
Code. The exercise involves a range of security and related scenarios
involving policy decisions, crisis/emergency management and response.
Participants are jointly identifying areas of improvement,
including future areas of assistance from IMO and other development
This is the sixth in a series of IMO maritime security exercise
held in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden region since late 2015, with
IMO having completed similar exercises in Djibouti, Maldives, Mozambique, Kenya
and the Seychelles. It was launched by the Hon. Premduth Koonjoo, Mauritius’
Minister for Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer
Islands. IMO is represented by Henrik Madsen and a team of consultants.
should be managed so that migrants are not put in the dangerous position of
having to be rescued at sea. This was the message of IMO’s Chris Trelawny,
Special Advisor on Maritime Security and Facilitation, speaking at the
“Maritime Security and Migrant Protection in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea”
workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia (26-27 July). Addressing
the point that merchant ships are not designed for mass rescue, Mr. Trelawny
said that rescues will continue, but safe, legal, alternative pathways to
migration must be developed, including safe, organized migration by sea, if
Recognizing that the business model for mixed migration by
sea in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea differs from that in the
Mediterranean, some of the regional maritime security and counter piracy strategies
developed by IMO Member States could be useful in addressing mixed migration by sea,
Mr. Trelawny said.
of international instruments apply to migrants and refugees in the maritime
domain. These come under the auspices of different United Nations bodies and
international organizations, and include UNCLOS;
the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and human
rights and refugee law under OHCHR, UNHCR and IOM.
a number of IMO treaties include provisions relating to migration by sea. These
include SOLAS chapter
V on Safety of Navigation, which requires the master of a ship at sea able to
provide assistance to persons that are in distress at sea, to do so regardless
of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they
The Jakarta meeting was organized by
the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
which will shortly become a Related Organization of
the United Nations.
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 Moroccan governmental departments, port authorities and
maritime training institutes are attending the three-day “MARPOL
Annex VI and Technology Transfer” workshop, taking place in Rabat, Morocco
(19-21 July). The event is the latest in a line of workshops organized under
project, which is supporting uptake and implementation of energy efficiency
measures for shipping in developing countries. Morocco is one of the 10 GloMEEP
lead pilot countries.
Morocco is holding the First National Task Force meeting (21 July) to endorse
the National Work Plan of activities under the GloMEEP project for the coming
two years, which will include decisions on which bodies will be responsible for
different GloMEEP activities.
The third session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) has been opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The agenda includes the regular casualty analysis work to review marine safety investigation report and produce lessons learned from marine casualties; the review of port State control procedures and the updates to the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) and the non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code). The meeting is also expected to review consolidated audit summary reports (based on voluntary Member State audits carried out before the scheme became mandatory this year). The session (18-22 July) is being chaired by Captain Dwain Hutchinson (Bahamas). Click for photos.
The revised Somalia Maritime Code is being finalized at a four-day Stakeholders Forum, sponsored by IMO (Kigali, Rwanda 12-15 July). The workshop is part of IMO’s ongoing technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and regional authorities in establishing a Maritime Administration for Somalia capable of undertaking flag, port and coastal states duties in line with IMO instruments. The revised Code reflects developments in international maritime law and best practices and as such provides the necessary legal backing for the effective functioning of the Somalia National Maritime Administration.
The forum is being attended by 25 legal and maritime experts from Somalia, led by the Minister of Ports and Marine Transport of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hon. Nur Farah Hersi.
The official Launch of the review process took place in Mogadishu, Somalia (10 July) and was organised by IMO with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). During the launch, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, HE Mohamed Omar Arte, hailed the move as a milestone in re-positioning the country to take full advantage of its extensive littoral heritage covering more than 3,300 kilometers of coastline, one of the longest in Africa. In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked IMO for its technical assistance thus far, and welcomed the prospect of further assistance from IMO to meet the country’s maritime capacity challenges. IMO’s William Azuh (Head, Africa Section, TCD), Kiruja Micheni (Project Officer, Djibouti Code of Conduct, MSD), Purity Thirimu (Principal Progamme Assistant, TCD) and Alexander Buabeng (Maritime Legislation consultant) are in Kigali supporting the Stakeholders Forum. The IMO programme for Somalia on the establishment of a National Maritime Administration started in 2014. IMO has worked with officials in Somalia to develop policy framework and draft regulations for the establishment of a national Maritime Administration and to produce the draft revised Somalia Maritime Code. Last year, IMO conducted a workshop on coastal State, flag State and port State responsibilities to prepare selected Somali officials to participate effectively during the stakeholder reviews of the Maritime Code and the establishment of the Department of Maritime Administration (Nairobi, Kenya, 19-23 Nov 2015).
A National Seminar on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic is being held in Suva, Fiji (13-15 July). The event aims to assist Fiji to more effectively implement the Convention of Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) and to advise on the recently-adopted amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention. The seminar has been organized by IMO and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), and is being attended by 26 participants from ministries with responsibilities in the clearance of ships, cargo, crew and passengers at ports of Fiji, and private stakeholders*. IMO is represented by Julian Abril.
*Participants included those from Fiji Police Force, RFMF Navy, Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration, Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority, Ministry of Health & Medical Services, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Safenav Maritime Pilots, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ship & Cargo Surveyors, Shipping Companies and Pacific Community (SPC).
IMO’s GloBallast programme has been selected as a finalist in the environment category of a major global award. The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme has been working (2008-2016) to build capacity to address the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens between marine ecosystems through ships’ ballast water and sediments, one of the greatest threats to the world’s coastal and marine environments. GloBallast has been active in more than 70 countries to support national and regional capacity to ratify and implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria. The programme has also established a Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosecurity to catalyze and promote new technological solutions to the ballast water problem; raised awareness through video and other materials; organized six international R&D Fora; and facilitated training through practical workshops and online modules. The final winners of the prestigious Lloyd's List Global Awards will be announced in November 2016.
The GloBallast programme has won a number of international awards. Most recently, IMO presented the “Glo-X” partnerships model, based on the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, which won the best Portfolio Solution Award at the 8th International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Negombo, Sri Lanka (9-13 May). The award was given for the project with the best strategy for scaling-up investments aimed at addressing global environmental issues facing international waters, including the oceans.
The role of shipping and ports as part of an integrated transport system was on the agenda at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Eurasia Expert Group Meeting on Transport and Logistics in Seoul, Republic of Korea (11-13 July). During the session on facilitation, IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined IMO’s long term strategy, which is focussed on helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting trade by sea, enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators, and developing a sustainable blue economy, underpinned by good maritime security. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and organized by the Korea Transport Institute.
Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). The efforts to bring the legislation into national law followed the participation of Myanmar at a five-day workshop hosted by IMO in November 2015, during which Government officials from Myanmar gained insight into IMO treaties on liability and compensation and the benefits, rights and obligations of Parties to these conventions.
Mr. Kyaw Htin Lin, Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in the United Kingdom accompanied by Ms. Wai Wai Lin, 1st Secretary and Ms. Zin May Hnin, 2nd Secretary deposited the instrument with Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, acting on behalf of the IMO Secretary-General.
IMO’s work to enhance fishing vessel safety received a boost
today when Germany became the sixth State to accede to the 2012 Cape
Town Agreement. The Agreement involves a basic set of safety measures for
larger high seas fishing vessels, covering issues
such as stability, construction and protection of crews and will
enter into force 12 months after 22 States express their consent to be bound by it.
These States must have a minimum of 3,600 fishing vessels of at least 24 meters in length operating on the high
The agreement intends to bring into
force amendments to update the provisions of the 1993 Torremolinos fishing
vessel safety protocol and thereby provide a mandatory global regime for
fishing vessel safety.
H.E. Dr. Peter Ammon, Germany's Ambassador to the UK and
Permanent Representative of Germany to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Lim today
(5 July) to hand over the instrument of accession.
The IMO Council is meeting for its 116th session (4-8 July), chaired by Mr Jeffrey G. Lantz (United States). The 40-Member Council is expected to review the work of the Organization since its last session and consider strategy and policy matters. The Council will also select the World Maritime Day theme for 2017 and choose the recipients of two IMO awards: the 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea and the 2015 International Maritime Prize. (click for photos)
A table-top exercise on maritime security has been held in Kingston, Jamaica (30 June-1 July), organized by IMO in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The exercise was aimed at stimulating discussions and demonstrating the need for cooperation amongst government departments and agencies using a range of evolving scenarios related to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues. Scenarios covered included threats to cruise ships, border security issues involving ports, airports and land border crossings, incidents potentially involving weapons of mass destruction, security-related health crisis, environmental threats such as oil spills, maritime safety inspections and dealing with illicit drugs’ consignments.
The event was organized to assist the Government of Jamaica in strengthening national implementation of aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) that fall within the scope of IMO maritime security measures, including those under SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code and the SUA treaties covering the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation. Resolution 1540 (2004) addresses the threat of proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, to non-State actors, their means of delivery and related materials.
The exercise follows a series of similar events in other countries in the Caribbean region, conducted by IMO and UNLIREC. IMO was represented by Javier Yasnikouski and a team of consultants.
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 (see photos here). 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.