Protecting marine biodiversity and decarbonizing shipping – industry alliance sets plans for 2024

The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety has outlined a full work programme for 2024, to support IMO’s key environmental objectives of protecting marine biodiversity and decarbonizing shipping.

The GIA is a public-private partnership initiative under the GloFouling Partnerships Project – a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO. It aims to contribute to biodiversity protection and maritime decarbonization via improved biofouling management. The alliance has 14 members and one observer, including shipping and biofouling management companies, research institutions, classification societies and associations.

In the first of four meetings scheduled for 2024, GIA members outlined several activities to be completed this year, including:
• 30-minute documentary on biofouling, highlighting the spread of invasive aquatic species via ships’ hull and increased greenhouse gas emissions due to increased drag of ships. (Planned launch late 2024).
• Review and update of GIA’s 2022 publication, Compilation and Comparative Analysis of Existing and Emerging Regulations, Standards and Practices Related to Ships’ Biofouling Management. The revised IMO Biofouling Guidelines were adopted in July 2023. (Completion late 2024);
• Study on port perspectives on biofouling management, highlighting the impact on ports, regulatory availability and gaps, risk assessments, management and best practices, and data availability. (Planned publication late 2024); and
• Study on identifying changes to water quality as a result of in-water cleaning of the biofouling on ships’ hulls. The deadline for tender submissions is 29 February. (Completion late 2024).
The next meeting was set for June 2024. The GIA welcomed its newest member, Nippon Paint Marine, an anti-fouling coatings manufacturer. Ms. Gladys Goh, company President, expressed her support for the GIA goal to protect the environment, stating: “The industry-public sector collaboration is very important in order to achieve the goal in the most effective way”.

In addition, members began to explore the potential options to continue with the alliance beyond the conclusion of the GloFouling Partnerships project in May 2025.
Source: IMO

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