Environmental Committee agenda in Greece stretches from ship recycling and ballast water management to environmental sustainability

INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee met earlier this week in Athens for its 19th meeting, kindly hosted by Avin International S.A.

An extensive agenda of issues ranged from the more commonly-discussed matters of ship recycling and ballast water to some of the newer environmental issues such as sustainable development and marine noise pollution.

Bjorn Sodahl (Concordia Maritime AG) was nominated as the new Chairman of the Committee. Howard Seto (Teekay (Canada) Ltd.) was nominated Vice-Chairman, acting alongside the current Vice-Chairman Dimitris Stamoudis (Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd).

In discussing some of the key policy issues on the agenda, the Committee supported the IMO’s moves to mandate certain aspects of the Ship Recycling Guidelines, noting that there were still plenty of technical and practical details to be considered before the Guidelines could be seen as adopted on a mandatory basis. However, the Committee was forthright in its conviction to remain committed to the issue and to find practical and workable solutions to the problem of ship recycling.

Recognising that key aspects of the recently-adopted Ballast Water Convention will rest on the development of 13 sets of guidelines (currently under development at the IMO), on which the Committee is working steadily to ensure that they are both practical and workable. These guidelines are seen as the sharp end of the Convention with a significance as great as the Convention itself.

New issues were added to the Committee’s agenda, including the effects of noise pollution from shipping on marine mammals, and environmental sustainability in shipping. The latter encompasses the increasing trend for corporate and social responsibility in industry.

The next meeting of the Committee is due to be held early in 2005.

Contact: Tim Wilkins