Experience Note: Piloting a New Convention: How GloBallast Pilot Countries Catalyzed Approval of the Ballast Water Convention
2007: In anticipation of the new Ballast Water Management Convention, IMO joined forces with the GEF and UNDP to implement the Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast). The convention is the first IMO instrument where reliance on modern equipment and ballast water treatment technologies is combined with an adequate understanding of the quality and the impact of ballasting operations on coastal waters. Globallast directly contributed to passage of international environmental legislation which is now moving through the process of country ratification and entry into force. The GEF project was instrumental in building awareness, building consensus amongst countries north and south, helping to push the decision making process, and leveraging significant co-financing. The following lessons can be gleaned from the GloBallast experience: environmental protection efforts can be greatly enhanced when the governmental agencies are directly responsible, countries involved in pilot efforts can be instrumental with respect to generating regional or global concerted action, it is very important that all key stakeholders are involved in the discussions when a major convention is under debate and while GEF projects can be instrumental in developing support for international conventions, they can also suffer obstacles and delays in achieving project objectives – when tied to the outcomes of these often lengthy international legal negotiations. GloBallast established new environmental champions amongst the pilot countries, possessing technical knowledge and experience that can aid other countries – north and south. The project serves as an example of positive working relations with the shipping industry on an important global environmental issue that will entail significant additional costs to it.
27 Nov 2014