IMO is marking five decades of the London Convention, adopted in 1972 to protect the oceans from dumping of wastes. The Convention was updated in 1996 by the London Protocol, a comprehensive stand-alone global agreement, however the two treaties work in conjunction to regulate the dumping of wastes at sea.
he London Convention and Protocol (LC and LP treaties) have evolved over the years, banning the dumping of radioactive waste at sea since the 1980s and, in the 21st century, addressing carbon capture and storage and marine geoengineering.
During an event on 3 October to celebrate five decades since the London Convention was adopted, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the London Convention and Protocol’s “key roles over the last five decades in the governance of our ocean, located in the interface between land-based and sea-based activities”.
“The international community recognized that we have a collective responsibility to protect the environment and to, in particular, address the deliberate and indiscriminate dumping of wastes at sea
Mr. Lim said.
Betsy Valente, Chair, LC/LP governing bodies, said the uncontrolled dumping of waste into the oceans that was evident in previous decades had ended with the adoption, entry into force and implementation of the London Convention and its Protocol.
“Great progress has been made in the past 50 years, and I believe this is due to the active participation of Parties, NGOs and IGOs, working together to solve problems,” she added , highlighting the development of guidelines under the treaties and the willingness of Parties to share experience and best practices and the best available science and knowledge.
What is more, in a video message, Scott Mann, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), United Kingdom, stated:
By enabling marine geoengineering and carbon capture technologies to operate in ways that does not put the health of the ocean at risk, the London Convention and Protocol are at the forefront of climate change mitigation
The annual meeting of Parties to the LC and LP is being held at IMO Headquarters (3-7 October). Parties will consider adopting an amendment to remove sewage sludge from list of wastes that may be considered for dumping.