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IMO AND SAUDI ARABIA JOIN TO TACKLE BIOFOULING, PLASTIC LITTER AND EMISSIONS

IMO AND SAUDI ARABIA JOIN TO TACKLE BIOFOULING, PLASTIC LITTER AND EMISSIONS

Monday, October 4, 2021 

IMO has signed three partnership agreements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support the preparation of a new global project that targets ship-based emissions, alongside further funding to existing projects focused on biofouling and marine plastic litter.

The agreements, signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and HE Mr Saleh bin Nasser al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistic Services, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will see US$ 509,000 going to the three environmental initiatives.

"IMO is committed to a global approach to environmental protection, with capacity building in developing countries to ensure that no Member State is left behind on this important journey. Lowering emissions, reducing marine litter and tackling invasive aquatic species are vital to preserving our oceans. I am very pleased that these agreements will go towards IMO projects to help reduce the impact of shipping on our oceans. They demonstrate our continued commitment to protecting our environment," said Secretary-General Lim.

"We know that it is technological innovation and the development of alternative future fuels that will be key to progress. But it's equally important that we ensure that innovations in these areas are inclusive and coordinated as well. No one can do this alone and no one should be left behind. We need both the North and the South to get connected in this innovation ecosystem and we need all stakeholders to be around the innovation table including stakeholders across the value chain," said HE Mr Saleh bin Nasser al-Jasser.

Under the first agreement, around US$400,000 will be used to fund a 12-month preparatory phase of a new long-term IMO CARES (Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping) initiative. The Project aims to accelerate demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally in a manner that facilitates blue economic growth in developing regions. The preparatory Project will lead to the design of IMO CARES Programme and will be executed by IMO's Department of Partnerships and Projects (DPP).

The Project will continue IMO efforts to increase cooperation and collaboration between all decarbonisation initiatives. The preparatory phase of IMO CARES is designed to identify various key stakeholders who might become part of the long-term IMO CARES programme. Potential stakeholders include donors, regional maritime technology cooperation centres, various decarbonisation R&D centres, Global Industry Alliances, and financial institutions.

The second agreement sets out US$ 54,500 in funding for IMO's ongoing GloFouling initiative, a GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Project to drive actions to implement the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling. The funding will go towards holding an awareness-raising workshop on ships' biofouling for women in Arab States. The workshop will seek to improve awareness and expertise on general aspects of biofouling management to increase participation of women across maritime industries and administrations.

The IMO-Norway-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) GloLitter Project to tackle marine plastic litter will receive co-financing of US$ 54,5000 under the third agreement with Saudi Arabia. Reducing and preventing marine plastic litter, which can include discarded items from ships and discarded fishing gear, is vital to safeguard coastal and global marine resources.

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