The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) on Thursday, hosted a meeting with stakeholders to address challenges of waste disposal in the Maritime sector. The one-day meeting is the start of a feasibility study being considered as part of a Regional Plan to tackle the proper disposal of solid waste both internally and externally.
Keith Donohue, a Consultant from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) said that under the United National Environment Centre Programme – small islands developing states – of which Guyana is a part, faces challenges on handling waste domestically, also from ships coming into ports.
“The feasibility is to see if we should do a Regional Plan for the Caribbean. If there is a reason to do a regional plan, then we submit that to the International Maritime Organisation and if it is approved, eventually it will lead to regional arrangements and that can be the different types of options. Maybe some locations of the Caribbean can be central locations or hubs or logistics hubs to receive more waste from ships,” Donohue explained.
Donohue added that as part of this project the IMO is seeking recommendations and solutions to improve methods of dealing with waste coming from ships.
“The feasibility is to see if we should do a Regional Plan for the Caribbean. If there is a reason to do a regional plan then we submit that to the International Maritime Organisation and if it is approved, eventually it will lead to regional arrangements and different types of options. This will improve their capability reasons. For business reasons they will have more opportunities to recycle waste by aggregating at certain locations but what exactly that may be and if that is a possibility, we are not going to determine it until we move forward,”.
Donohue explained that key areas with adequate port reception facilities are an obligation for contracting parties, under the International Convention to prevent pollution from ships. He added that under the National and Port plans, development. “is a process in place so that when waste comes in, we know that it gets dealt with properly and get disposed of properly but also to make sure that there are incentives for proper disposal in businesses.”
Director of Maritime Safety, MARAD, Captain John Flores said that the meeting will aid the preparation for an audit in February of 2018. “We are preparing for an audit next year February and at the same time we are preparing for Oil and Gas. We are putting a lot of the regulations in place, a lot of the structures, best practices under IMO and some of the other countries are putting in place.”
Captain Flores added that Guyana is a part the Caribbean Maritime Understanding (MCU/ MOU), and our standards have been prepared in keeping with other Caribbean countries and IMO. “If next year audit finds us lacking in any area, I am sure that they will be (making) some recommendations.”
The participants from government, the shipping industry and waste disposal companies all shared their views, understanding and positions on the plan.