A pilot Training Workshop on the Legal Implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention is delivered for the first time in the Mediterranean region – Dec 02, 2009

A pilot Training Workshop on the Legal Implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention was organised by REMPEC in Istanbul, Turkey, between 2 and 3 December 2009. The Workshop was organised by REMPEC with the support of the Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs of Turkey, a Lead Partnering country in the Mediterranean region under the GEF/UNDP/IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project.

The Training Manual was developed within the framework of the GloBallast Partnerships, by a Global Legal Task Team specifically established by the IMO-GloBallast Coordination Unit for that purpose and composed of legal experts from all the five regions covered by the GloBallast Project, including the Mediterranean region, and from the Legal Affairs and External Relation Division of IMO. Assistance in designing the Training Package was also provided by a pedagogical expert.

Apart from the Modules of the Training Manual, and the Instructor’s Manual, the GloBal Legal Task Team has also produced legal tools to help the countries implementing the BWM Convention. These are the “Guidelines for Legal Reform in the context of the BWM Convention” as well as a “Model Ballast Water Management Act”, which were both included in the Training Manual.

The Training Modules and related tools were distributed for peer review to selected legal and technical experts, representatives of countries and of the industry. A final draft of the Training Manual was produced in October 2009 and is being translated into French and Arabic.

The delivery of the Training Workshop in the Mediterranean region is the first one and is followed by a delivery in the Wider Caribbean region this week. The training manual will be refined as necessary on the basis of discussions and comments expressed after the delivery in these two regions.

The programme of Training Workshop included a general introduction to ballast water management issues, a thorough review of the provisions of the Ballast Water Management Convention, as well as provisions of other international conventions and principles relevant to the issue of invasive species. It also focused on national level, with two modules dedicated to the development of customary law and regulations.

Eighteen representatives from sixteen Mediterranean coastal States attended the Training Workshop. It appeared from the answers provided in the Evaluation Form distributed the last day to the participants that for more than 40% of them, the delivery was beyond their expectations. A large majority found the Workshop very useful and stated they will use the information and knowledge provided in their work. A significant majority stated it intended to promote or initiate the process of developing national legislation to implement the Ballast Water Management Convention and identified the establishment of national inter-ministerial Committees, Working Groups or Task Forces as the best way to succeed.

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For more information on the Training Workshop, you can contact Ms. Lilia Khodjet El Khil, Programme Officer (REMPEC).