Discussion on a Mediterranean strategy on ship’s ballast water management to start during the First Regional Task Force Meeting for the Mediterranean organised by REMPEC in the framework of the GloBllast Partnerships. – Jul 28, 2008

REMPEC is organising, within the framework of the GEF / UNDP / IMO Project “Building partnerships to assist developing countries to reduce the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ship's ballast water (Globallast Partnerships)”, the First GloBallast Regional Task Force Meeting, in cooperation with the UNEP/MAP’s Specially Protected Areas / Regional Activity Centre (RAC / SPA) and the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of Croatia.

The Meeting will take place on the 11 and 12 September 2008, and is hosted by the Government of Croatia, as a Lead Partnering Country of the GloBallast Partnerships.

The primary objectives of the First GloBallast Regional Task Force Meeting will be on the one part to discuss the Mediterranean Task Force Terms of Reference and form the Task Force, and on the other part agree on the main elements that should be included in a Mediterranean strategy on ship’s ballast water management.

All Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention have been invited to participate in the Meeting. The invitation letters were sent to official REMPEC GloBallast Focal Points, which are expected to form the Regional Task Force or, for Contracting Parties that did not yet designate a GloBallast Focal Point, to REMPEC official Prevention Focal Points.

In view of the fact that the First GloBallast Regional Task Force Meeting will be the first of a series of meetings discussing the development of a Mediterranean strategy on ship’s ballast water management, Contracting Parties were invited to nominate as representatives Government officials well versed in issues related to ship’s ballast water and invasive species, and able to take decisions on behalf of their Governments.

The invitation to participate in the Meeting was also extended to relevant specialized agencies of the United Nations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as to the international professional organizations and associations whose activities are relevant for the work of the Meeting.

REMPEC will start posting the meeting documents on its website (www.rempec.org), under the “Meeting Documents” section of the DOCUMENTS page, at least one month before the Regional Task Force Meeting takes place.