Already when it was adopted in 1972, the London Convention was at the forefront of the efforts to protect the environment from human activities. With the adoption of the Protocol in 1996, the treaty took yet another step by fully embracing the precautionary principle. The Convention and Protocol Parties continue to develop the treaties as the main regulatory framework to protect the marine environment.
The examples of how the LC/L Parties have kept the treaties at the forefront are many. For example, in early 1991, incineration at sea operations came to a halt, ahead of the agreed global deadline of 31 December 1992. In 1991, Parties also agreed to apply the so-called "precautionary approach in environmental protection" within the framework of the London Convention (resolution LDC.44(14)). In 1990, Parties to the London Convention 1972 agreed to phase-out sea disposal of industrial waste effective by 1 January 1996 (Resolution LDC.43(13)).
In 1992, Agenda 21 encouraged Parties to complete this new orientation. In 1993, Parties started a detailed review of the London Convention, leading to the adoption of crucial amendments to Annexes I and II to the London Convention as a first step. These amendments consolidated in a legally binding manner the prohibition to dump all radioactive wastes or other radioactive matter and industrial wastes, the latter as per 1 January 1996 as well as the prohibition of incineration at sea of industrial wastes and sewage sludge. In 1996, this review was completed with the adoption of the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention 1972, which will eventually replace the London Convention.
Two more recent examples are Marine Geoengineering and Carbon Capture and Sequestration, which are further explained in the submenus to the left.