The second phase of an IMO-implemented project to enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh has been launched with the first Project Executive Committee meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 2 July.
The SENSREC Project Phase II – Capacity Building, funded under a US$1.1 million agreement with Norway, will focus on legal and institutional analysis of ship recycling in the country and will develop a roadmap for the Government of Bangladesh to accede to the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention).
The two-year project will also provide training for workers in ship recycling yards, supervisors and government officials.
Dirty and dangerous shipbreaking in Bangladesh has been strongly criticized by global NGOs for many years, with marine pollution, hazardous waste dumping and unsafe working conditions, as well as the illegal exploitation of child workers, being among the key areas of concern.
The project is being executed and implemented by IMO, in partnership with the Ministry of Industries of the Government of Bangladesh. The Executive Committee (the decision-making body of the project) was co-chaired by Mr. Md Enamul Hoque, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh and IMO’s Jose Matheickal.
Bangladesh is one the world’s top four ship recycling countries by capacity, alongside China, India and Pakistan, which together account for 94.9% of known ship recycling in the world.
In January this year, the Parliament of Bangladesh approved its Ship Recycling Bill, which includes a timeframe for accession to the Hong Kong Convention by Bangladesh within five years.
Under the bill, owners are obliged to issue life insurance for all employees and be fully aligned with the relevant global laws and conventions.