70th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

Between 24 and 28 October 2016, UNEP/MAP and REMPEC participated in the 70th Session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70), held at IMO Headquarters in London, UK.

Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of UNEP/MAP and Gabino Gonzalez Head of REMPEC presented the Mediterranean regional policies to tackle obligations arising from MARPOL and the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM) Conventions, which embodies the implementation of the Barcelona Convention ecosystem approach in practice.

The recent 19th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocol (COP19), adopted a number of key decisions, which are related to the work of IMO, such as a very ambitious Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and Related Assessment Criteria (IMAP) that aims to enable a quantitative based analysis of the state of the marine and coastal environment in an integrated manner. The decision covers pollution and marine litter, biodiversity, non-indigenous species, coast, and hydrography based on common regional indicators to assess Good Environmental Status.

The main outcomes of MEPC 70 included the adoption of the mandatory data collection system for fuel oil consumption by ships, and the approval of a roadmap for reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. The decision of the Meeting to implement a global sulphur cap of 0.50% m/m (mass/mass) in 2020 represents a significant cut from the 3.5% m/m global limit currently in place and demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO to ensuring shipping meets its environmental obligations.

The summary of MEPC 70 can be found the IMO website, whilst documents of the Meeting can be accessed from imodocs.

Date of Article: 
Thursday, November 17, 2016