Environmental and maritime authorities from nine countries discussed the implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (the London Convention) at a three-day regional workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.
The London Convention, one of the first international conventions for the protection of the marine environment from human activities, entered into force in 1975. Parties adopted a Protocol to the Convention in 1996, which entered into force in 2006. The Protocol, which uses a more precautionary approach to dumping, is expected to eventually replace the 1972 Convention. The Protocol prohibits all dumping, except for wastes listed in an annex to the Protocol, while the Convention prohibits the dumping of certain hazardous materials.
At the workshop, International Maritime Organization (IMO) representatives and other experts presented the technical requirements of the Protocol, such as how to conduct waste assessments to screen candidates for dumping and how to set up a waste dumping system. The sessions aimed to familiarize participants with the benefits of implementing the Protocol.
Participants also discussed barriers to ratification and implementation, and next steps. They highlighted two main barriers: human resources capacity; and coordination of information flows across sectors and among stakeholders. For instance, government officials from different administrations are often required to assess waste and monitor the marine environment, necessitating dialogue and information flow across environment and maritime authorities to ensure implementation of the Protocol's requirements. The workshop brought together representatives from both maritime administrations and environmental authorities to ensure that both types of agencies learned about Protocol requirements and discussed how to implement them.
Participants expressed an interest in working towards ratification and implementation of the Protocol at the workshop's conclusion, and suggested national workshops to bring together all relevant stakeholders.
Approximately 30 participants attended the workshop, which convened from 18-20 November 2014, including representatives from the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania. IMO has organized two similar regional workshops on the Protocol in 2014: one in New Orleans, Louisiana, US for the wide Caribbean region; and one in Doha, Qatar for the Gulf region.