Friday, February 12, 2016

London Convention and Protocol

By Anton Antonio
February 12, 2016

It is common knowledge that approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water and the oceans and seas hold about 96.5% of all earth’s water.  These staggering data on the volume of water around us makes dumping of wastes in water bodies a very critical issue and concern.  Towards the end and purpose of protecting our oceans and seas, the London Convention and Protocol was conceived.

Here is a researched material on the London Convention and Protocol… “The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of wastes and Other Matter 1972, commonly called the “London Convention” or “LC ‘72” and also abbreviated as Marine Dumping, is an agreement to control pollution of the sea by dumping and to encourage regional agreements supplementary to the Convention.  It covers the deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, and platforms.  It does not cover discharges from land-based sources such as pipes and outfalls, wastes generated incidental to normal operation of vessels, or placement of materials for purposes other than mere disposal, providing such disposal is not contrary to aims of the Convention.  It was entered into force in 1975.  As of 2013, there were 87 Parties to the Convention.  The Convention was called for by the United Nations Conference on Human Environment (June 1972, Stockholm), the treaty was drafted at the Intergovernmental Conference on the Convention on Dumping of Wastes at Sea (13 November 1972, London) and it was opened for signature on 29 December 1972.  It entered into force on 30 August 1975 when 15 nations ratified it.  As of 1 October 2001, there were 78 Contracting Parties to the Convention.  International Administration of the Convention functions through Consultative Meetings held at International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London.  The London Convention consists of 22 Articles and three Annexes.  It follows a “black list/grey list” approach to regulating ocean dumping; Annex I materials (black list) generally may not be ocean dumped (though for certain Annex I materials dumping may be permissible it present only as “trace contaminants” or “rapidly rendered harmless” and Annex II materials (grey list) require “special care”.  Annex III lays out general technical factors to be considered in establishing criteria for issuance of ocean dumping permits.  The main objective of the London Convention is to prevent indiscriminate disposal at sea of wastes that could be liable for creating hazards to human health, harming living resources and marine life; damaging amenities; or interfering with other legitimate uses of the sea.  The 1972 Convention extends its scope over “all marine waters other than the internal waters” of the States and prohibits the dumping of certain hazardous materials.  It further required a prior special permit for the dumping of a number of other identified materials and a prior general permit for other wastes or matter.”  (Wikipedia)

We often read about and hear this statement: “Water is Life”.  And if life on earth anchors on clean and healthy water, this international accord becomes critically important… the London Convention and Protocol.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2016).  “London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter”.  Retrieved on February 12, 2016 from

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