The Government of Bangladesh is seeking international partnerships and financial support to help make the country’s ship-recycling facilities greener and more sustainable, following the completion of the first phase of a project aimed at improving safety and environmental standards within the country’s ship-recycling industry.
The IMO, the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) have jointly implemented the 30-month Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I (SENSREC project).
At a meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which followed site visits to ship-recycling yards, stakeholders highlighted the successful completion of the five work packages under the SENSREC project.
These included economic and environmental studies on the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh; studies on managing hazardous materials; refining the government one-stop service (in which all the various ministries with a responsibility for ship recycling offer a single point of contact for related matters); developing training materials; and preparing a document for a follow-up phase 2 to implement the recommendations of the first phase.
The second phase of the project is expected to focus on constructing a dedicated waste-management facility for treating, storing and disposing of the hazardous waste, as well as rolling out a comprehensive training programme aimed at workers in ship recycling yards, supervisors and government officials.
The main funding for the project came from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The European Union (EU) also supported the project with additional funding channelled through the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS).
With an annual gross tonnage capacity of more than 8.8 million, the Bangladeshi ship recycling industry is one of the world’s most important, second only to neighbouring India in terms of volume.