IMO and Saudi Arabia sign partnership deals as part of net-zero drive

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has signed three partnership agreements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support the preparation of a new global project that targets ship-based emissions.

As informed, the partnership will include projects that will tackle biofouling and marine plastic litter and the designing of long-term program to help cut ship emissions. The agreements will see $509,000 going to the three environmental initiatives.

Under the first agreement, around $400,000 will be used to fund a 12-month preparatory phase of a new long-term initiative IMO CARES, which will include coordinated actions to reduce emissions from shipping.

The project aims to accelerate the demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally in a manner that facilitates blue economic growth in developing regions.

It will build on and complement other ongoing work by IMO and connects this work to various R&D and innovation initiatives around the world. This work includes Green Voyage 2050, a project which was launched in May 2019 to support states on their decarbonisation path.

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It will also include projects such as GHG-SMART Project, the Blue Solutions Project, the FINSMART initiative and the NextGEN initiative.

“IMO is committed to long-term technology cooperation and capacity building programmes focussed on needs of developing countries that will support the IMO Initial GHG strategy, the IMO resolution on technology transfer and capacity building as well as the resolution on cooperation between ports and shipping to reduce GHG emissions,” said Jose Matheickal, DPP Chief.

This project will lead to the design of IMO CARES Program and will be executed by IMO’s Department of Partnerships and Projects (DPP).

Raising awareness of biofouling

The second agreement sets out $54,500 in funding for IMO’s ongoing GloFouling initiative, a GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Project to drive actions to implement the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling.

Ships’ biofouling is one of the main sources for introductions of invasive aquatic species and is one of the main threats to marine biodiversity. The environmental impacts are often associated with substantial economic costs. Biofouling also results in increased fuel consumption and contributes to GHG emissions from ships.

The funding will go towards holding an awareness-raising workshop on ships’ biofouling for women in Arab States.

The event will gather women in maritime administrations, female business entrepreneurs, researchers and representatives from private sector companies, industry associations and the IMO-supported Women in Maritime associations for a review of the issue of biofouling.

Tackling marine plastic litter

Under the new agreement, the additional funding from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will augment the ongoing GloLitter Project by focusing on some of the lead partnering countries (LPC) and twin those with one or more partnering countries (PC) within the GloLitter network.

The GloLitter Project will encourage twinning between countries to create a network for facilitation of knowledge dissemination about best practices to tackle marine plastic litter.

The additional $54,5000 in funding will be used to strengthen this model.

“We know that it is technological innovation and the development of alternative future fuels that will be key to progress. But it’s equally important that we ensure that innovations in these areas are inclusive and coordinated as well. No one can do this alone and no one should be left behind. We need both the North and the South to get connected in this innovation ecosystem and we need all stakeholders to be around the innovation table including stakeholders across the value chain,” concluded Saleh bin Nasser al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistic Services of Saudi Arabia.