MEPSEAS project launched to protect South-East Asia marine environment

MEPSEAS project launched to protect South-East Asia marine environment

Seven countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have joined together to launch an initiative aimed at improving environmental health and conditions of the seas in the region. The initiative aims to do achieve this through the implementation of key International Maritime Organiztion (IMO) marine environment protection treaties.

The seven countries include Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The first meeting for the Marine Environment Protection for Southeast Asia Seas (MEPSEAS) Project was held in Bali, Indonesia on the 25th-27th of June.

IMO is implementing the project, with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (ASEAN MTWG) will act as the advisory body for the MEPSEAS project, which will take place between 2018 to 2021. The project will focus on enhancing the countries’ capacity to implement a number of high-priority treaties, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); the Anti-Fouling Systems Convention; the London dumping of wastes at sea convention and protocol; and the Ballast Water Management Convention.

Mr. R. Agus H. Purnomo, Director General for Sea Transportation under Ministry of Transportation, Government of Republic of Indonesia, said: “We should work together to ensure a continued and strengthened contribution towards a green economy and growth and to protect our marine environment in a sustainable manner. Our active involvement through the MEPSEAS project will prove that we have the same commitment to protect our marine environment,”

The MEPSEAS project will promote national legal and policy developments and related capacity building in port and flag state inspections to support enforcement of the selected Conventions. The Project is also expected to support specific port biological baseline survey training, the Green Shipping-Green Port-Green Shipyards (GGG) initiative of the Philippines and the holding of a regional maritime technology conference, among other activities. The MEPSEAS project will also build on a previous IMO-Norad foundation project.

“The MEPSEAS project is a clear demonstration of the continued commitment of the ASEAN countries to move towards a sustainable maritime transport system and to address significant marine environmental issues,” said Jose Matheickal, Deputy Director (Major Projects) of IMO.

“The IMO-Norad foundation project was a remarkable success and IMO is once again very proud to partner with Norad, the ASEAN countries and all the strategic partners to build on the foundation project in a regionally-coordinated way,” Mr. Matheickal said.

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9th July 2018