CEDA at the London Convention

It is exactly twenty years ago that CEDA was granted official Non-Governmental Observer status at the IMO / London Convention (LC) one of the first global conventions to protect the marine environment. With 86 States being Parties to the London Convention, it is the most widely applicable legislative instrument for placing dredged sediments at sea.

Since 1990, CEDA has been actively participating in the work of the Convention, and its updated version the London Protocol (LP) where it undertakes the representation of WODA (World Organisation of Dredging Associations).

WODA / CEDA was represented by Polite Laboyrie, Chairman of the CEDA Environment Commission (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands) at the recent meeting of the Scientific Group of the London Convention (7-8 October 2010, London, UK). The Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties of the Convention (12-15, 2010, London, UK) was attended by Dr Caroline Fletcher (HR Wallingford, UK).

CEDA has been contracted by IMO – LC/LP to develop a training set for the application of low-technology techniques for assessing dredged material. This training set is an extension to the LC/LP Waste Assessment Guidelines (WAG) and will be based on the LC Specific Guidelines for Assessment of Dredged Material (previously known as the DMAF) The idea for this initiative came up in light of experience WODA/CEDA gained when it facilitated working group sessions on dredged material management at regional Workshops organised in the framework of the LC and LP which took place in Jamaica (2002), Kenya (2004) and China (2006).

The training set is aimed at countries where regulations are at present absent or at an early stage of development and where technical equipment and knowledge may be lacking or too expensive to realistically set up from scratch without a long lead time. They are intended to assist individuals or bodies who may be regulators, potential regulators or port operators in reviewing operations and provide the tools from a simple starting point to incrementally build an assessment, management and permitting system for dredged material to be considered for placement at sea. Accordingly, the training set provides information on low-cost sampling, testing, information gathering and documenting, low-cost monitoring and feedback surveys to improve decision making. It also includes case study examples. Photo: A Sediment Sizing Wheel; can be used as a quick and simple method of achieving a physical characterisation of sediment to be dredged and disposed.

The low-tech approach is seen as a temporary measure to allow countries to adopt a precautionary approach to the management of dredged material, in the event that they have not yet developed sufficient capability to allow them to follow the full approach of the Guidelines.

For reasons of consistency, the low-tech training set follows the same rational and terminology as the LC / LP WAG however it points out that WODA / CEDA consider dredged material as a resource and therefore does not consider it as a waste. For the same reason, the official term of the Convention “dumping” in these guidelines is replaced with the term “disposal” or “placement”.

The low-technology training set is being developed for CEDA by Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) a corporate member of CEDA and the draft document is currently under review by all concerned parties with a view of adoption next year.

Cefas are currently identifying case studies for inclusion in the training set and are issuing a call to all CEDA members, for assistance. If you, or your company, have been involved in dredging and disposal projects that have required any aspects of the low technology approaches described above, whether recently or in the past, then could you please contact Andy Birchenough (Cefas , UK) as soon as possible at the following email address; [email protected]

The other relevant, dredging related item on the LC agenda is the review of the Specific Guidelines for Assessment of Dredged Material. The Specific Guidelines were adopted in 2000 as a living document. It was agreed that the guidelines should be kept under review and updated in five years (or earlier) in light of new technical developments and new scientific results. In their recent meeting the Scientific Groups agreed to commence a review and established an intersessional Correspondence Group (ISCG) to report at the next meeting in May 2011. CEDA, on behalf of WODA is a member of this ISCG. The aim is to finish the review in 2012. The three dredging associations under WODA will work closely together on this subject (WEDA, EADA and CEDA) and their Environment Commissions have already started reviewing the existing specific guidelines.

[mappress]

Source: dredging, December 21, 2010

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