Ocean Action Hub

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Amendments to cut shipping emissions approved
19 Nov 2020 - Draft new mandatory regulations to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships have been approved by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). 

19 Nov 2020 - Draft amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. ​The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is meeting in virtual session 16-20 November 2020
Draft new mandatory regulations  to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships have been approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). 
This builds on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.  The MEPC also agreed the  terms of reference for assessing the possible impacts on States, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).

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World Maritime theme for 2020: "Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet"

1 Aug 2019 - This industry has started to move towards sustainability, including cutting GHG emissions and sulphur content of fuel oil and the new Ballast Water Convention.

1 Aug 2019 - This industry has started to move towards sustainability, including cutting GHG emissions and sulphur content of fuel oil and the new Ballast Water Convention.

"Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet" has been selected as the World Maritime theme for 2020. This will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showcase the work that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.

The IMO Council, meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

"I believe that this theme will provide flexibility to the Secretariat and the Member States in highlighting the myriad topics and challenges in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  At the same time, it will provide excellent opportunities to highlight the already significant contributions of shipping and the IMO to building that sustainable future," Mr. Lim said.  

"The year 2020 will mark the beginning of a decade of action and delivery. It will be a decisive decade not only for the shipping industry, but for life on the planet," Mr. Lim said. He noted that September 2019 would see a gathering of Heads of State at the United Nations in New York, to take stock of how far the world has come in realizing the sustainable development commitments.

The SDG Summit, the Climate Action Summit and further high-level meetings planned for 2020, such as the Our Ocean and the UN Ocean Conferences, will provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors, including shipping, to both reflect on the work done and the urgent steps they further plan towards a sustainable future.    

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/17--world-maritime-theme-for-2020.aspx

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Cleaning up marine litter across eastern and southern Africa

31 Jul 2019 - An inaugural female-led beach clean-up exercise has helped raise awareness of the problem that marine litter poses to the environment.

31 Jul 2019 - An inaugural female-led beach clean-up exercise has helped raise awareness of the problem that marine litter poses to the environment. In Kenya alone, the beach-clean up collected 337 kg of rubbish, generated from land-based activities. The day was led by members from the IMO-supported Association for Women in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa region (WOMESA), together with industry and local communities. Organized in celebration of the African Day of Seas and Oceans, the clean-up on 27 July also served to highlight the important role of African women in marine conservation for sustainable livelihoods.

IMO has adopted an action plan to address marine litter from ships and is committed to supporting the achievement of targets to prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds, including marine debris, set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.

Human carelessness and pollution, such as the dumping of plastic in waterways, has devastating consequences on marine life and this is a particular problem in the marine and coastal areas in Africa  - which are also are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in the world, mainly attributed to the low adaptive capacity in the continent. 

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.imo.org/EN/MediaCentre/WhatsNew/Pages/default.aspx

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Addressing marine plastic litter from ships: Action plan adopted

12 Nov 2018 - The IMO's plan aims to enhance existing regulations and introduce new supporting measures to reduce marine plastic litter from ships.

12 Nov 2018 - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has pledged to further address the significant problem posed by plastics to the marine environment, with the adoption of an action plan which aims to enhance existing regulations and introduce new supporting measures to reduce marine plastic litter from ships.

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted (on 26 October) the action plan, to contribute to the global solution for preventing marine plastic litter entering the oceans through ship based activities.

Discharging plastics into the sea is already prohibited under regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which also oblige governments to ensure adequate port reception facilities to receive ship waste. Under the London Convention and Protocol on the dumping of wastes at sea, only permitted materials can be dumped and this waste has to be fully assessed to ensure it does not contain harmful materials like plastic litter.

Recognizing that more needs to be done to address the environmental and health problems posed by marine plastic litter, IMO Member States meeting in the MEPC agreed actions to be completed by 2025, which relate to all ships, including fishing vessels. The action plan supports IMO’s commitment to meeting the targets set in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) on the oceans.

Marine plastic litter can also pose dangers to shipping. For example, abandoned or lost fishing nets can become entangled in propellers and rudders.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/20-marinelitteractionmecp73.aspx

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Global treaty to halt invasive aquatic species enters into force today

8 Sept 2017 - The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) starts today.

8 Sept 2017 - A key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water enters into force today.

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) requires ships to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.

The BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for developing global standards for ship safety and security and for the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere from any harmful impacts of shipping. 

“This is a landmark step towards halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can cause havoc for local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

“The requirements which enter into force today mean that we are now addressing what has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. Invasive species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the valuable natural riches of the earth upon which we depend. Invasive species also cause direct and indirect health effects and the damage to the environment is often irreversible,” he said. 

He added, “The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention will not only minimize the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, providing clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships.”

GloBallast programme
Since 2000, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project assisted developing countries to reduce the risk of aquatic bio-invasions through building the necessary capacity to implement the Convention. More than 70 countries directly benefitted from the Project, which received a number of international awards for its work. The GloBallast programme also engaged with the private sector through the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) and GIA Fund, established with partners from major maritime companies.

CONTINUE READING: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/21-BWM-EIF.aspx?platform=hootsuite

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Reducing ocean acidification and marine invasive species risk from the shipping sector - The Glo-X approach

Fredrik Haag, Marine Environment Division, IMO

Presentation made at The Ocean Conference Preparatory Meeting Side Event: Strategies and Approaches for Accelerating and Scaling up SDG14 Implementation

14 February, 2017

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