Ocean Action Hub

Partnerships to catalyze transformational innovations in marine biosafety

GloBallast Monograph Series No. 25

Shipping is a great connector between continents, countries and cities—about 80 percent of international trade relies on shipping. However, global shipping is also a significant source of the spread of invasive alien species when ship’s ballast water is not managed properly.

Invasive alien species often disrupt the local ecosystems, threaten local economies and livelihoods, cause diseases, and can even cause the loss of human life. Moreover, experience shows that once invasive alien species have been introduced and established, they are virtually impossible to eradicate. Preventing their arrival in the first place is the best strategy.

This was the fundamental rationale for GloBallast. For more than a decade – in partnership with IMO and UNDP – GloBallast has mobilized a broad coalition of more than 50 countries, shipping lines, port authorities and other stakeholders around a bold vision to eliminate ballast water as a key conduit for invasive alien species and a driver of global biodiversity loss.

The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention in September 2017 will be a crowning moment for our joint efforts. The BWM Convention provides a strong basis for the world to tackle this important problem, and it is also helping create the foundations for private sector investments in the global water ballast industry that may be worth US$35 billion over the next decade.

Furthermore, the implementation of the Convention will directly support countries to address Aichi Biodiversity Targets towards addressing invasive alien species, their pathways to control them and curb the serious economic impact alien invasive species have in coastal countries.

There is a recognizes the critical need for global action to support ocean governance to ensure the sustainability of the shared resources in our oceans. GloBallast is an excellent illustration on how crucial multi-stakeholder coalitions are providing long term solutions to protect our oceans and ultimately, our global commons.

More information?

GloBallast Partnerships Programme

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

4 Albert Embankment,

London SE1 7SR, UK 


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Marine pollution