The IMarEST made two voluntary commitments to assist with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to sustain the marine environment. The SDGs, established in September 2015, were intended to tackle an array of global problems by ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all, as part of the UN’s new sustainable development agenda. Each of the 17 SDGs has specific targets that are to be achieved over the next 15 years. In June 2017, the UN held the Ocean Conference – a high-level event aimed to support the implementation of SDG14 ‘life below water’. The conference marked a global breakthrough, with over 1,400 voluntary commitments pledged by governments, the UN system, civil society organisations, academia, the scientific community and the private sector. Each commitment focuses on one or several of the SDG 14 targets. One year on from its pledges, the IMarEST has made significant progress towards fulfilling its voluntary commitments.
- Deliverable 1: To make IMarEST membership free to any student over the age of 18 in a recognised course at a recognised institution
- Deliverable 2: To provide student members with information and guidance on professional development
- Working to protect the environment from harmful organisms transferred through ballast water or on hulls
- Deliverable 1: Publish a position paper on the environmental, economic and social impacts of aquatic invasive species associated with vessels hull fouling
- Deliverable 2: Conduct a study based on the existing regulations on in-water cleaning
- Deliverable 3: Produce a series of five guidance documents supporting the implementation of the BWM convention and IMO Biofouling Guidelines
Since making these commitments, the IMarEST has made significant progress towards achieving the outlined deliverables.
Progress towards fulfilling commitment 1
Since making its voluntary commitments, the IMarEST has made significant progress towards achieving the outlined deliverables.
- The IMarEST has fulfilled Deliverable 1 by continuing to offer free membership to all students, cadets and apprentices over the age of 18, who are enrolled in a recognised course at a recognised institution
- Since June 2017, waiving these fees has resulted in a 42% increase in its young member population, recruiting 2,960 marine students to its membership base
- To bolster its commitment to young member recruitment into the marine sector, the IMarEST also has a dedicated accreditation scheme, to ensure that the next generation of marine professionals is taught to the highest standards.
- Since June 2017, 16 university/college marine courses have been accredited for their excellence in teaching standards, increasing the total number of IMarEST accredited courses to 114
- The IMarEST has launched its graduate pathway – offering all graduating students, apprentices and cadets a reduced membership rate, which is further reduced for those residing in Less Developed Countries
- Professional development guidance and opportunities have been offered to its younger members through interim registration, research publishing opportunities and the use of ‘IMarEST Echo’ – the IMarEST’s CPD monitoring tool
- Several young member events have been organised or supported by the IMarEST in the last 12 months, including design competitions and careers talks
- The IMarEST has launched its student sections – sponsored groups of students that promote the marine sector within their university or college and are supported in hosting activities themselves in partnership with a local IMarEST branch, their university, college or local industry
- A number of awards, grants and bursaries are offered to young members to assist them during their early careers. Since making its voluntary commitments, the IMarEST has presented 22 individuals with awards.
Progress towards fulfilling commitment 2
The IMarEST’s Biofouling Management Expert Group and Technical Leadership Board (TLB) has outlined their plan for the creation of the position paper.
- The BMEG is currently consulting IMarEST members, to identify alien marine biofouling species that are understood to have had significant impacts on a receiving environment.
- Once this consultation has been completed it will use the responses to draw up a list a comprehensive list of species to review.
- This list will steer a concerted effort to collate all published evidence of environmental, economic and social impacts from the introductions of the invasive species identified.
- The final step will involve a consideration as to the appropriate species-specific management measures for high impact invasive species and the scope for management strategies based on their method of introduction and species-specific characteristics.
The IMarEST’s Biofouling Management Expert Group (BMEG) and Technical Leadership Board (TLB) has outlined their plan for implementing the study on existing regulations on in-water cleaning.
- The BMEG will create an open source global index of current and pending regulations governing in-water hill cleaning of ships, together with contact details for each port or anchorage.
- This will be created by working with industry and is currently in the early stages of collating current and pending guidance, rules and regulations.
- Once this has been fully collated, it will be published via the IMarEST in a concise and easy to access booklet (and digital version).
The IMarEST’s Ballast Water Expert Group (BWEG) and Technical Leadership Board (TLB) have produced a series of documents to support the Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention.
- The IMarEST submitted a document, produced by its BWEG and TLB to the IMO outlining proposed amendments to the draft Guidance on System Design Limitations (SDL) of ballast water management systems and their monitoring. This was considered at the Marine Environment Protection Committee, at its seventy-third session (MEPC 73) and the majority of proposed changes were accepted. IMarEST members can view this submission in the IMarEST’s Digital Archive or by contacting .
- The IMarEST submitted a document produced by its BWEG and TLB to the IMO outlining proposed elements of the Guidance on Contingency Measures under the BWM Convention that should be included in ballast water management plans (BWMP). The paper was introduced and discussed by the Ballast Water Working Group MEPC 73 and it was agreed to have contingency measures added to the G4 guidelines. IMarEST members can view this submission in the IMarEST’s Digital Archive or by contacting .
The IMarEST’s Biofouling Management Expert Group (BMEG) BMEG and Technical Leadership Board (TLB) have outlined the plan for the construction of the ship biofouling management best practice guide to support the International Maritime Organizations’ Biofouling Guidelines.
- The BMEG, will collate relevant practical and scientific experience and biofouling management within the group and beyond, for example by liaison with the International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC).
- This information will be used to produce a concise and practical ‘best practice’ document, recommending the optimum methods and techniques for dealing with a number of common fouling management scenarios including in-water cleaning.
The template can be found on the IMarEST website.
You can view the full in-depth report on the IMarEST’s UN SDG voluntary commitments progress on the International Representation webpage.