Panama Accedes to Ballast Water Management Convention
Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs, Jorge Barakat Pitty presented the country's instrument of accession to the Ballast Water Management Convention to IMO Secretary General Lim on October 19.
Panama brings the proportion of global shipping tonnage covered by the treaty to 53.28 percent, with 53 contracting parties. Panama is the largest flag state globally in terms of tonnage, with 18.02 percent of world merchant shipping tonnage.
Lim welcomed the latest accession and urged countries which have not yet ratified the treaty to do so as soon as possible. Last month, accession by Finland ensured that criteria had been met for entry into force of the treaty.
The Convention will now enter into force on September 8, 2017.
"I am heartened by the fact we now have more than half of the world merchant shipping tonnage signed up to this treaty, which will not only minimize the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, setting clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships," Lim said.
The spread of invasive species has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. Numerous species have caused enormous damage to biodiversity and can also cause direct and indirect health effects. The damage to the environment is often irreversible. The Convention aims to stop the further spread of invasive species.