The GloFouling Partnerships project is expected to drive actions to implement the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling, which provide a globally-consistent approach on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species through ships’ hulls. The project will also spur the development of best practices and standards for improved biofouling management in other ocean industries.
The introduction of invasive aquatic organisms into the marine environment not only affects biodiversity and ecosystem health, but also has numerous impacts on a number of economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture and ocean energy.
As such, twelve countries, representing a mix of developing nations and Small Island Developing States, have been selected to spearhead the work of the GloFouling project: Brazil, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tonga, according to IMO.
The GEF is providing a US$6.9 million grant to deliver a range of governance reforms at the national level, through capacity-building activities, workshops and opportunities for technology adoption to help address the issue of invasive species. The partners also expect strong participation from private sector: The Project has already received endorsement from over 40 major stakeholders, representing academia, industry associations, technology developers and private sector companies covering a broad spectrum of the blue economy.
While IMO will focus on shipping, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) will join the three main partners (GEF, UNDP, IMO) to lead the approach to other marine sectors with a view to developing best practices that may address the transfer of invasive aquatic species through improved biofouling management. IOC-UNESCO will work hand in hand with the GloFouling project to increase awareness of this environmental challenge among key stakeholders.
Contributing to the efforts of IOC-UNESCO, the World Ocean Council (WOC) has been selected to engage and channel the participation of private sector companies for the development of best industry practices in non-shipping sectors such as aquaculture and oil and gas extraction. WOC will be working with the private sector to spur business action and encourage investment in biofouling solutions through dedicated sessions of the WOC Ocean Investment Platform.
We know with high certainty that biofouling of ships and other mobile marine infrastructure is a serious environmental issue that can lead to the introduction of invasive species around the world. UNDP is very pleased to collaborate once more with the GEF and IMO to take steps to address this important issue through a project that brings numerous environmental benefits,
...said Andrew Hudson, Head, UNDP Water & Ocean Governance Programme.