70% of the world’s surface is covered by sea providing main means of transport for global trade and making shipping the key user of the oceans. With World Oceans Day celebrated last week around the world, let’s look at how shipping industry helps the sea.
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) works to meet the targets for United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The works of IMO to protect the seas include,
- Prevent pollution from ships by adopting International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL) to prevent and minimize pollution from shipping.
- Prevent pollution by dumping of waste at sea, carbon capture, and geoengineering by making London Dumping Convention and Protocol on the dumping of wastes and other matter at seas.
- Reduce emissions from ships.
- Reduce maritime plastic litter maritime plastic litter.
- Protect marine mammals from ship strikes.
- Reduce underwater noise from ships.
- Process a designate Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs), where protective measures are applied, such as mandatory ship-routeing systems.
- Have adopted requirements for special areas in the seas while shipping, such as oily discharges into the sea are prohibited in some areas.
- Addressing maritime litter problem by regulating the discharge of garbage from ships and supporting research work.
- Protecting the Arctic and Antarctic.
- Protecting marine biodiversity by including measures to prevent the spread of potentially invasive aquatic organisms.
- Maritime safety and security regulations are made for sustainable use of the oceans.
IMO is also part of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), which provides independent scientific advice to its sponsoring UN organizations. Furthermore IMO is playing an active role in other environmental cooperation mechanisms in the UN, such as UN-Oceans and the UN Environment Management Group (UN EMG).