IMO-administered pollution response facility in the Mediterranean is going to launch to a far-reaching program of activities which would be designed to help address the adverse effects of shipping on human health and marine ecosystems.
At their bi-annual meeting which was held in Malta between 11-13 June, focal points for the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), have agreed:
to continue developing and strengthening pollution response capacity and cooperation at national, sub-regional and regional levels
to explore and establish synergies between the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean and the IMO action plan to address marine plastic litter from ships
to examine further the possibility of designating the Mediterranean Sea area as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides under MARPOL Annex VI
the need to define a sustainable and collaborative approach to implement the Offshore Protocol and its action plan effectively, and
to launch a wide consultation process to prepare a draft post-2021 Mediterranean strategy for prevention of, and response to, marine pollution from ships involving all coastal States and relevant regional organizations
The meeting noted the Mediterranean Assistance Unit’s (MAU) 25th anniversary, a group of experts and centres of expertise that can be mobilised by REMPEC in emergencies, and the latest member which includes the Adriatic Training and Research Centre for Accidental Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response were welcomed.
There were more than 80 participants who attended the meeting. From IMO, 19 Mediterranean coastal states, the European Union/European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), UN Environment, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organizations and shipping industry representatives attended the meeting.
In the Mediterranean the shipping activity has been rising considerably in response to the recent highlights which includes the need for continued regional cooperation on pollution prevention. Particularly it has become the world’s second busiest region for cruises due to a rapid rise in cruise activity.