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New global shipping treaty to unlock $30b investment

The Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), is poised to unlock an unprecedented estimated private sector investment of about $30b in the next few years.

The BMW was adopted in order to control and manage ships ballast and sediments. This will help reduce the harmful effects on the marine environment that are spread through aquatic micro organisms transferred from one area to another through ballasting operations of the ship.

The BWM Convention has the support of many countries and is billed to become effective in September 2017.
International Waters Coordinator at Global Environment Facility (GEF), Chris Severin, who disclosed this at a meeting of the GloBallast Global Project Task Force (GPTF), said the convention needs strong partnerships with leading nations and private sector partners to achieve the target.

Severin said: “The GEF is proud to have partnered with the United Nations, through IMO, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), towards providing the world with a framework to start tackling one of the avenues (the BWM Convention) for spreading of invasive species.“I sincerely believe that the implementation of the BWM Convention will assist nations not only in delivering essential contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, but also offer an opportunity for unlocking the potential of the so-called blue economy.

The two GEF projects, totalling a grant of $12 million, have been supporting the 17-year process leading to what we are celebrating today, namely, the entry into force of the BWM Convention. A convention that, through strong partnerships with leading nations and private sector partners, will unlock an unprecedented estimated private-sector investment of a minimum of $30 billion,” Severin said.

Director of IMO’s Marine Environment Division, Dr Stefan Micallef, described the GloBallast project as an outstanding example of direct, large-scale action taken by IMO, together with other international entities, to address the global threat to the health of the world’s oceans from invasive species carried in ships’ ballast water.

“Through GloBallast, governments, industry and other stakeholders have acted to further improve the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of shipping and worked to reduce its negative impact on marine ecosystems. I have every hope that the ‘GloBallast family’ will continue its championing efforts and collaboration to protect our oceans, in the spirit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14,” Micallef said.

The Head, Water & Ocean Governance Programme at UNDP, Dr Andrew Hudson, said the GloBallast project had pioneered a successful model for collaboration, cooperation and capacity-building, which was now being emulated through other “Glo-X” projects.

“The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Programme has played a key catalytic role in preparing countries and the shipping industry for the implementation of the BWM Convention, which will reduce the significant ecological and economic damage, lost livelihoods and human health impacts often caused by invasive species. The legacy and impacts of the project will go on long after it formally closes,” Hudson said.



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