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IMO Meeting Adopts Assessment Framework for Ocean Fertilization

20 October 2010: Parties to the treaties regulating the dumping of wastes at sea met from 11-15  October 2010, at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in London, UK, and adopted an Assessment Framework for Ocean Fertilization.

The 32nd Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention) and fifth Meeting of Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol thereto (London Protocol) adopted the Assessment Framework for Scientific Research Involving Ocean Fertilization as resolution LC-LP.2(2010). The Framework, which is designed to assess whether proposals for ocean fertilization constitute legitimate scientific research, was developed by the Scientific Groups under the London Convention and Protocol. The resolution follows previous discussions by parties to the London Convention and Protocol on planned operations for large-scale fertilization of the oceans using micro-nutrients to sequester carbon dioxide. The Assessment Framework provides criteria for an initial assessment of a proposal and detailed steps for completion of an environmental assessment, including risk management and monitoring, and does not contain a threshold below which experiments would be exempt from its assessment provisions. [Website for the London Convention and Protocol] [IMO Press Release]