IMO highlights its commitment to protecting the ocean and addressing climate change ocean issues at Lisbon UN Ocean Conference.
MO representatives at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal (27 June to 1 July 2022) have highlighted the Organization’s ongoing commitment to preserving the world’s ocean and combating climate change.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim emphasized shipping’s truly international nature.
The ocean truly sustains us all, and the maritime sector connects us all. A greener, resilient maritime sector is essential for the needs of future generations – the maritime sector underpins all sustainable development
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Speaking at the Interactive Dialogue on addressing marine pollution, Mr. Lim said that the “the regulatory framework must be fair, and must ensure no one is left behind as the industry moves towards even greener operations. Marine pollution is a transboundary problem. The threats from certain types of pollution, such as marine plastic pollution, are seen at global scales and the impacts from this pollution, coupled with climate change, create an increasing threat for marine biodiversity, ecosystems, and consequently human wellbeing.”
As we scale up our efforts, R&D collaboration, information sharing, and capacity-building will be key to ensure no one is left behind in the push for the greening of the shipping sector
Mr. Lim said.
The Ocean Conference saw the unanimous adoption by Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives of the Lisbon Declaration, “Our ocean, our future, our responsibility”, a suite of science-based and innovative actions, taking into account the capacity challenges facing developing countries, in particular, Small Island Developing States and Least Developing Countries, at the frontline of the devastating impacts of the ocean emergency.
GloLitter – addressing marine plastic litter
At the IMO organized side-event on shipping and fisheries cooperation to tackle sea-based sources of marine litter, GloLitter lead partner country Costa Rica shared examples on how the country addresses the major issue of plastic litter, including banning single use plastics such as supermarket plastic bags.
With the support from the GloLitter project, the country will implement a number of priority actions to tackle sea-based marine plastic, focusing on legal and policy reform and the implementation of IMO’s MARPOL Annex V instrument on regulation of garbage from ships, the London Convention and Protocol on dumping of waste at sea, and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Marking of Fishing Gear.
Costa Rica plans to establish port reception facilities to be able to collect marine plastic litter, including fishing gear, with the aim being to reuse them in the circular economy.
At the same side-event, FAO also shared their experiences with addressing marine plastic litter in the fisheries sector, and a representative from the GloLitter Global Industry Alliance, highlighted the importance of linking regulatory and industry actions.
Combating climate change
IMO participated in several events highlighting its efforts to decarbonize shipping, including the ongoing work with many countries through its global projects to showcase innovation, link decarbonization projects together, and promote trials and pilots, which will feed into the revision of the IMO Initial GHG Strategy.
This transition is challenging – but it can enable the sector to reconnect with young generations in all regions of the world, many of whose future careers will feature renewable energy generation and energy efficiency technology
Mr. Lim added.
Empowering women and girls
IMO participated in a side event co-sponsored by the World Maritime University–Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute; International Maritime Organization; International Seabed Authority; Government of Antigua and Barbuda; Sailors for the Sea Japan; and Leading Women for the Ocean.
“By actively empowering women with the requisite skills and maintaining a barrier-free working environment, we create truly sustainable systems of gender equality,” Mr. Lim explained.
Addressing underwater noise from ships
The IMO delegation participated in a side-event on underwater noise, showcasing the work of the Organization on the implementation of the guidelines on reducing underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life, as well as the connection to Particular Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs).
An important step towards a project to build capacity to address noise from shipping was taken the week prior to the UN Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved the Project Identification Form to prepare the full proposal for a medium-size GEF funded project. This means that IMO will initiate the preparatory phase for a global capacity building intervention on the matter of underwater noise from ships.
IMO contributed to and co-organized several events that highlighted the crucial nature of interagency cooperation, through UN-Oceans as well as the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) together with other entities in the UN system.