Press Release
Ninth Regional Committee Meeting on Implementation of MARPOL 73/78 Convention and Fourth Regional Committee Meeting on the Ballast Water Management Convention

Captain A. M. Al-Janahi, Director of the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), has stated that in accordance with the decisions of the 15th Ministerial Council of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) a dual-part Meeting is going to be held during the period from the 27th to the 30th of May 2012 in Doha, State of Qatar.

The first part will be dedicated to the sessions of the Ninth Regional Steering Committee which is responsible for issues related to Implementation of MARPOL 73/78 Convention, which will last for 3 days, from 26th to 29th May 2012, and will cover a series of issues of highly importance for implementation of the Convention by the ROPME Member States, i. e. I. R. Iran, Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, State of Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, whose representatives are the members of this Committee. These issues include, inter alia, the Status of Developing the National and Regional Monitoring Systems; Introduction of the Legal Framework to effectively implement the provisions of the Convention, and the Framework for the prosecution of offenders causing illegal waste discharges in ROPME Sea Area; Introduction of Guidelines of the National Waste Management Plan according to the MARPOL 73/78 Convention; Vessel Traffic Management System – Strait of Hormuz; and Designation of ROPME Sea Area as a Particularly Sensitive Area (PSSA).

It is worth mentioning that in this part of the Meeting, the Steering Committee members will determine and select a qualified company from the private sector to undertake the task of establishment of Waste Reception and Treatment Facilities in our Region as a prerequisite for implementation of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention. A Prequalification Questionnaire had already been distributed by MEMAC to all the Member States and the relevant companies of the private sector in the Region for this purpose.

The second part of the Meeting will be dedicated to the sessions of the Fourth Regional Steering Committee, whose members are the same as of the previous Committee. This Committee is responsible for issues related to the Ballast Water Management Convention, and its sessions will last for 2 days, from 29th to 30th of May 2012, covering a number of very important issues such as the status of the ROPME Member States towards the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention; the Status of the Regional Action Plan for the Ships’ Ballast Water Management and its Roadmap; Development of the National Legislation for Ballast Water Management in the ROPME Sea Area; Guidelines for National Ballast Water Management, and Development of Ballast Water Management Plan; and Terms of Reference for a Regional Task Force on Ballast Water Control and Management.

In fact, stated Captain Al-Janahi, these two Meetings are being held at a time when our Region faces tremendous threats caused by the huge marine traffic, which has been reflected in the number of ships recently visiting our Region. For instance, the number of ships passed the Strait of Hormuz during this period is as follows: in 2005 – 32,000 ships, of which 28, 500 ships passed the Strait; in 2009 – about 69, 000 ships of which 43,750 ships passed the Strait; and in 2010 – 68,042 ships, of which 45, 250 ships passed the Strait.

Therefore, it has become a must for the ROPME Member States to join the relevant international Conventions, such as MARPOL 73/78 Convention and the Ballast Water Management Convention, to protect our fragile marine environment from any kind of pollution.


Sunday, May 27 2012

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