IMO and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) have embarked on a joint project to assist seven Southeast Asian countries in protecting their marine environments from shipping operations.
The two agencies signed the agreement to support the initiative, known as Marine Environment Protection for Southeast Asia Seas (MEPSEAS), on 8 December. The countries involved are Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.
The four-year project will work to enhance the countries’ capacity to implement high-priority marine environment conventions, including the Ballast Water Management Convention, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, and the Anti-Fouling Systems Convention.
Under the agreement, Norad will make available some US$2 million via contributions to IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
MEPSEAS will build on a previous IMO-Norad project which directly led to the six countries concerned — Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam — making substantial progress in implementing or ratifying IMO environmental treaties.
For countries which have already acceded to the relevant treaties, the new project will help them to focus on effective implementation.