The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) recently expanded their partnership to assist Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, in implementing the former’s marine-environment protection conventions.
These conventions are on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1978 as amended, and annexes 1, 2 and 5; Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001; the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004; and Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters, 1972 and its protocol of 1996.
After they helped speed up countries’ ratification or accession of these conventions, IMO and Norad shall now focus on initiating legal, policy and institutional reforms in order for these countries to implement them and improve efforts to protect the region’s seas from ship-sourced pollution.
The IMO-Norad project team recently held consultations with Transportation Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe Judan and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) directors; Hideo Kubota, secretary of the Tokyo memorandum of understanding; Adrian Ross of the Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia; and Merle San Pedro, president of Women in Maritime-Philippines.
As the lead agency in implementing this four-year project in the Philippines, Marina is expected to mobilize a national task force that would serve as the core inter-agency coordinating committee on initiatives to ratify or accede and implement the conventions.