IMO convention on ship recycling meets opposition

Hong Kong: Following an IMO meeting to adopt a new convention on ship recycling, various human rights, labour and environmental organisations yesterday warned that the convention was a step backwards from existing international environmental law.

In a statement signed by over 100 organisations in 30 countries, civil leaders called the draft a “legal shipwreck” and called upon IMO delegates to ban the beaching method of ship breaking. The IMO draft Convention as it stands now is a legal shipwreck waiting to happen,” said Ingvild Jenssen, Director of the NGO Platform of Ship breaking. It will not prevent a single toxic ship from being exported and dumped on the beaches of India, Bangladesh or Pakistan or any other developing country. According to the NGO Platform of Ship breaking, 80 percent of the global end-of-life ships are broken in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India on tidal beaches whose soft sands cannot support safety measures such as heavy lifting or emergency response equipment and which allow pollution to seep directly into the delicate coastal zone environment.

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