Philippines Accedes To London Convention
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 | 11:00
The Philippines has formally acceded to the 1996 Protocol to the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, otherwise known as the London Convention.
In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Embassy in London deposited with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the original Instrument of Accession signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III in a simple ceremony held recently at the organization’s headquarters in London.
The 1996 Protocol shall be binding on the Philippines effective on June 8, 2012, or 30 days after the deposit of the Instrument of Accession with IMO.
“With its accession to the 1996 Protocol, the Philippines will now be able to cast its vote in the ongoing discussions in the IMO concerning ocean fertilization and carbon dioxide sequestration in the seabed,” Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Enrique Manalo said.
“These two novel developments have consequential impact on the marine environment and we are thoroughly studying the effect these will have on our marine resources,” Manalo added.
The London Convention, one of the first international conventions for the protection of the marine environment from human activities, came into force on August 30, 1975. Since 1977, it has been administered by IMO.
The London Convention contributes to the international control and prevention of marine pollution by prohibiting the dumping of certain hazardous materials. In addition, a special permit is required prior to dumping of a number of other identified materials and a general permit for other wastes or matter.
“Dumping” has been defined as the deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures, as well as the deliberate disposal of these vessels or platforms themselves.
Amendments adopted in 1993 (which entered into force in 1994) banned the dumping into sea of low-level radioactive wastes. In addition, the amendments phased out the dumping of industrial wastes by December 31, 1995 and banned the incineration at sea of industrial wastes.
In 1996, Parties adopted a Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (known as the London Protocol) which entered into force in 2006.
The Protocol, which is meant to eventually replace the 1972 Convention, represents a major change of approach to the question of how to regulate the use of the sea as a depository for waste materials. Rather than stating which materials may not be dumped, it prohibits all dumping, except for possibly acceptable wastes.
Source: Manila Bulletin
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