GEF, UNDP and IMO Build Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries to Minimize the Impacts from Aquatic Biofouling

A new global project to help protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species has been given the go-ahead for preparation. The GloFouling Partnerships project - a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - will address the transfer of aquatic species through biofouling, in other words, the build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures.

The project will focus on the implementation of the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling, which provide guidance on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.

Marine bio-invasions are the source of significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts that can affect fisheries, mariculture, coastal infrastructure and other development efforts, ultimately threatening livelihoods in coastal communities.

The GloFouling project will build on the success of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships project, which worked to build capacity to implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. The BWM treaty addresses the transfer of potentially invasive aquatic species in the ballast water of ships. The GloFouling Partnerships project concept was approved by the GEF Council in May 2017, with a total funding of US$6.9 million earmarked for implementation. The project is now going through a detailed preparation phase to be resubmitted to the GEF for endorsement before implementation can commence. The full name of the new project will be “Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries to Minimize the Impacts from Aquatic Biofouling” (GloFouling Partnerships).

The GloFouling project preparation will be undertaken by the IMO Secretariat, which has invited interested Member States to inform the Secretariat of their intention to participate in the new project. Click here for more information about this project.