Experts discuss implementing Ballast Water Management Convention

An IMO-GloBallast expert workshop dealing with risk assessment and decision support tools to support the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention is taking place at IMO Headquarters, London (25-26 April). 12 renowned international experts are discussing so-called “risk-based decision support systems” for improved implementation of the Convention. This comes as part of IMO’s efforts, under the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme, to counter the threat to ecosystems by invasive species transported in the ballast water of ships.

The experts are drawn from the fields of information technology, risk assessment, marine ecosystems protection, maritime operations and Marine Electronic Information system integration. The workshop aims to provide a set of recommendations on the feasibility and requirements of such a decision-support system (with consideration for the capacity constraints in developing countries) and on how to apply such a system on a regional or global level.

Inauguration of 6th GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast R&D Forum

Some 140 participants at the 6th Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO GloBallast R&D Forum and Exhibition on Ballast Water Management (16-18 March) under the banner “Ballast Water Management Convention – moving towards implementation” and will share knowledge and experience on treatment technologies and alternative methods and highlight current research. Compliance monitoring and enforcement including sampling and analysis will also be discussed.

The Forum, which brings together scientific experts and academia with the maritime industry and leaders in technology development for ships’ ballast water management, was launched by Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Canada.  IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment Division, delivered an opening speech. Mr Micallef stated that the Ballast Water Management Convention needed to enter into force for effective implementation of its provisions. But he highlighted the huge amount of collaborative work which had been undertaken since the first GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast R&D forum 15 years ago, leading to a great deal of progress in the BWM field in terms of testing and approval of ballast water management systems, ballast water sampling and analysis, and the availability of ballast water management systems.

Ballast water system testers meet

The Global Ballast Water Test Organizations Network (GloBal TestNet) has been meeting in Montreal, Canada. GloBal TestNet launched its website and elected a new steering committee, while discussing further ways of collaboration amongst its members.

GloBal TestNet, which was formally established in 2013 with 16 signatories to a Memorandum of Understanding, aims to increase levels of standardization, transparency and openness in testing ballast water management systems.  This is intended to benefit test facility clients as well as the end-users of ballast water treatment technologies: the ship owners who need  cost-effective and environmentally-friendly systems  to meet the requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), 2004, which is close to reaching entry into force requirements.

The formation of GloBal TestNet has been supported by the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme. GloBal TestNet gathers organizations involved in the generation of data from land-based and/or shipboard testing for the certification of ballast water management systems, under the 2004 BWM Convention and relevant Guidelines or other test protocols.

GloBallast R&D Forum: Call for Papers

The GEF-UNDP -IMO GloBallast Partnerships has sent out an invitation for papers to be presented and discussed during its 6th R&D Forum and Exhibition on Ballast Water Management, to be held in Montreal, Canada, from 16 to 18 March 2016.

Candidates should send abstracts no later than 15 January 2016, with the following conditions:  maximum 250 words in English language and include objectives, results and conclusions. Papers should focus on the latest developments in one of the following topics:

  • Treatment technologies and alternative management options
  • Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement
  • Regional approaches, risk assessments and exemptions
  • Financing capacity building
  • Technology testing and approval

All abstracts will be reviewed by an international scientific committee and authors will be notified of the acceptance by 29 January 2016. The full paper should be submitted by 26 February 2016 for inclusion in the Forum proceedings. Since a large number of abstracts are expected to be submitted to this IMO-GloBallast flagship event, the deadlines will be strictly followed.

For more information and to submit your abstract, please visit

6th GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast R&D Forum on Ballast Water Management

Following five successful Global R&D Fora in the past, IMO-GloBallast is bringing this flagship IMO event to Montreal, Canada.

The IMO-GloBallast R&D Forum is organized every two years and is one of the most important international conferences on BWM. It aims at bringing together regulatory bodies, the maritime industry, academia, leading scientific experts and technology development leaders in the field of ships’ ballast water management for a comprehensive overview of this rapidly expanding area of research and development and technology commercialization.

This sixth edition will focus on: “BWM Convention: Moving towards implementation” and will be held at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), located in Montreal, Canada, from 16 to 18 March 2016. The purpose of the Forum and Exhibition is to share the latest developments and practical answers for ballast water management issues among global participants.

For registration and more information visit

New GEF IW publication: From Coast to Coast

The science-based management and governance of shared transboundary marine ecosystems is the focus of a wide-ranging collection of stories published in a new publication, From Coast to Coast: Celebrating 20 Years of Transboundary Management of Our Shared Oceans, launched during Oceans Day, being held on the sidelines of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.

From Coast to Coast showcases the GEF IW large marine ecosystem and coastal area management portfolio, particularly how it has contributed to: 1) improved global and regional cooperation (e.g. conventions, commissions) in addressing priority transboundary water issues; and 2) improved ecosystem health and services and human wellbeing by addressing particular trans-boundary concern and through improved governance at regional, national and local levels.

The publication may be downloaded from

New ratifications of BWM Convention

During the 29th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization, Morocco, Indonesia and Ghana presented their instruments of accession to the Ballast Water Management Convention. The case of Ghana is especially satisfactory for the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnership Programme because it is one of its 15 Lead Partnering Countries.

With the latest ratifications, there are now 47 Contracting States to the BWM Convention. The IMO has announced that it is recounting the world gross tonnage with the latest 2015 figures and will shortly update the status of the Treaty.

GloBallast Monograph series in Arabic and Spanish

The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships is pleased to announce the publication of two new translations of the GloBallast Monograph series:

  • GloBallast Monograph No 21: Identifying and Managing Risks from Organisms Carried in Ships’ Ballast Water, has been published in Arabic language. The Monograph was originally published in English in 2013 and this translation has been prepared through collaboration between the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme and PERSGA.
  • GloBallast Monograph No 22: Guidance on Port Biological Baseline Surveys (PBBS) has been published in Arabic and Spanish language. This Monograph was originally published in 2014 and prepared through collaboration between the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme, the International Ocean Institute (IOI), the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa, India, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Monographs can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Ballast systems approval process in focus

IMO’s Stefan Micallef opened the International Forum on Ballast Water Management Technical Cooperation 2015, in Busan, Republic of Korea (3-4 November). The Forum focused on type approval of ballast water management systems and the ongoing revision of the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8). The Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea.

SPREP Annual report

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has published its 2014 Annual Report. It provides an overview of the Secretariat’s activities in support of its Members and highlights key activities such as the Natural Solutions for Island Resilience Campaign.  The report is available at