GESAMP (Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection) is a group of experts that since 1969 has advised the United Nations system on scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. GESAMP is presently sponsored by ten UN agencies with interests and responsibilities in marine environmental matters: IMO, FAO, UNESCO-IOC, WMO, IAEA, UN, UN Environment, UNIDO, UNDP and ISA. This joint advisory mechanism is needed first to provide a cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary, and science-based approach to international policy development in marine environmental affairs, and second to meet the practical requirement for coordination and cooperation among UN agencies. IMO has been appointed to represent GESAMP (Administrative Secretary) and to host the GESAMP Office for this coordination task.
At present IMO is also the lead agency for four active Working Groups in GESAMP:
WG 1: EHS Working Group
The terms of reference of the GESAMP EHS Working Group or WG 1, as given by GESAMP at its 6th session in Geneva (1974) and amended at its 8th session in Rome (1976) are:
"To examine and evaluate data and to provide such other advice as may be requested, particularly by IMO, for evaluating the environmental hazards of harmful substances carried by ships, in accordance with the rationale approved by GESAMP for this purpose".
WG 34: Ballast Water Working Group
The GESAMP– "Ballast Water Working Group on Active Substances", GESAMP–BWWG, or WG 34, was established in November 2005 to review any proposals submitted to IMO in preparation for the 2004 BWM Convention for approval of Ballast Water Management systems (further referred to as treatment systems) that make use of 'Active Substances'.
WG 41: Marine Geoengineering
The overall aim of this group is to better understand the potential environmental (and social/economic) impacts of different marine geoengineering approaches on the marine environment and provide advice to the London Protocol Parties to assist them in identifying those marine geoengineering techniques that it might be sensible to consider for listing in the new Annex 4 of the Protocol.
WG 42: Impacts of wastes and other matter in the marine environment from mining operations, including marine mineral mining
The mandate of the working group is to provide independent advice on what environmental impacts could arise from the marine disposal of mine tailings around the world, both from land based and deep seabed mining in the context of the London Convention and Protocol.
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