International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

7.1 - “GloBallast” Global Industry Alliance (GIA)

Highlighted Practices for GEF PMs

The “GloBallast” GIA developed the following key practices that other GEF PMs might replicate:

  • Engaged industry leadership and developed cooperative approaches to assist in meeting international legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Established a flexible industry fund (Global Industry Alliance Fund) to promote improved environmental and sustainable performance by funding training, testing, technical assistance, technology development and technology standards.  The fund is an annual subscription model.  The International Maritime Organization acts only as the fiduciary and GloBallast Partnerships supports the execution of activities which are decided by the GIA Task Force.  Through the GIA Task Force, industry is responsible for making the annual decisions regarding how to spend the money.  Companies can enter and exit the partnership and contribute to the fund as they please on an annual basis.  The aim is to build a partnership for shared problem solving, rather than just mobilizing resources.
  • Convened bi-annual Ballast Water Treatment R&D Symposium to share best practices and lessons learned on treatment technologies and testing of such technologies.


The Globallast GIA project promotes development of global partnerships that will implement coordinated long-term measures to minimize the adverse impacts of invasive aquatic species that are transferred through ships’ ballast water.  In addition, this project supports the implementation of the International Convention on Ballast Water Management which was adopted by the International Maritime Organization.  For more information, please visit


Private shipping companies recognized that it was in their interest to proactively ensure compliance with the convention and established an annual fund of approximately $200,000 USD (typically directed toward research and development, training and technical assistance) for shipping companies.


The GloBallast partnership was established in response to the International Maritime Organization’s adoption of the International Convention on Ballast Water Management.  The Convention “stipulates that all ships should be equipped with ballast water management systems to meet the ballast water performance standards by the year 2016.  This means that it is essential that the current technology hurdles are overcome and effective management solutions have been scale tested and installed.”[1]


The unique fund, facilitated by the GloBallast Partnerships Project and made up of a truly pioneering partnership between the IMO and major private shipping corporations, aims to harness the different skills and expertise brought by these industry groups in order to develop concrete solutions to this serious global environmental issue.

Formation of the GIA has resulted in some excellent outcomes and impacts both in terms of forging a partnership to accelerate cost-effective technological solutions that were much needed by developing countries and in terms of sending a positive message to the policy makers that the shipping industry, which is responsible for the issue, is ready to act and will support government initiatives.  This global level partnership will have a significant multiplier effect as similar alliances are expected to be replicated at regional and national levels, facilitating the dialogue between industry and policy makers at local levels.[2]

Case Study Questions and Answers

What are the water delivery problems or other environmental challenges that this partnership addresses?

The GloBallast Global Industry Alliance addressed the transport of non-native, invasive species in ships’ ballasts.

What operational risks may be lowered with the outcomes of the partnership?

The GloBallast project reduced the risk of introducing invasive species into ports and potentially changed the local marine environments.

What were the factors that encouraged the private sector to join the partnership?

Private shipping companies recognized that it was in their interest to address compliance with the ballast water management practices because the International Maritime Organization was raising its standards to comply with the new Ballast Water Management Convention.  The partnership gave companies a platform for shared problem solving to meet these requirements.


[2] IMO Experience Notes, 2009.