Archive for the ‘ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait’ Category

ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – Environmental Awareness

May 18, 2010

ROPME Secretariat initiated several environmental awareness programmes since 1984, such as:

ENVIRONMENT DAY OF THE REGION (24 April) 1999-2002

The Ministerial Council of ROPME at its Second Meeting in November 1982 adopted a resolution that 24 April be observed, annually, as the Environment Day of the Region with a view to commemorate the event of signing the Kuwait Regional Convention on 24 April 1978, as well as to increase the public awareness and to renew the importance of protecting the environment in general and the marine environment of the Region in particular.

Starting from 1984, the Environment Day of the Region is celebrated on 24 April every year through activities and programmes, such as drawing and photography competition; exhibition of drawings and photographs on environment; distribution of prizes; distribution of visual materials such as posters, environmental slogans, calendars, stickers, publishing of books, children’s illustrative magazines, special bulletins etc.

More details:
On the occasion of the Environment Day of the Region, every year a message from the Executive Secretary of ROPME is delivered and circulated to all NFPs to be broadcasted on 24 April.
A drawing contest has been organized for school children in each year and entries were received from Member States. Three winners from each Member State were awarded with prizes at the National level, and the best three drawings were selected at the Regional level. For instance, the number of entries were received as follows:

1999: 115 entries from five Member States
2000: 600 entries from six Member States
2001: 250 entries from seven Member States
2002: 106 entries from seven Member States

A drawing competition is organized each year in cooperation with Environmental Public Authority (EPA) Kuwait, to celebrate the occasion. Different activities on the theme of the year were carried out each year and the celebration was held under the patronage of H.E. the First Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the State of Kuwait.
An essay competition for secondary school children is organized annually and three winners from each Member State are awarded with prizes.
A story competition for children is held annually and stories are received from Member States. Three winners from each Member State are awarded with prizes annually.
The winning Drawings, Articles and Stories are displayed at the Exhibition during the celebration of the Environment Day of the Region.
Some promotional items such as ball pen, caps, T-shirts, with ROPME imprint were distributed on the occasion of Silver Jubilee of the Kuwait Regional Convention.
Activities related to the celebration of the Environment Day of the Region – 2003 were cancelled due to the special circumstances in the Region.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXHIBITIONS
Three Environmental Exhibitions were organized each in 1998, 2000 and 2002 under the patronage of H.E. the First Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Higher Environment Council of the EPA, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on the occasion of the Environment Day of the Region to commemorate the Signing of the Kuwait Regional Convention 1978. The Kuwait International Fair arranged the last two Exhibitions for ROPME in cooperation with EPA-Kuwait. The theme of the April 2000 Exhibition was “Save Our Marine Environment” and that of April 2002 Exhibition was “Waste Recycling”.

ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

In April 1984, the Council of ROPME at its Third Meeting decided that a prize be awarded annually, on the Environment Day of the Region, to selected national(s) of the Member State(s) (e.g. scientists, journalist, institutions, editors, etc.) who have contributed outstanding work or had achievements in the field of marine environment. The Prize was established in order to promote all forms of activities and to increase environmental awareness amongst the people of the Region, as well as to evolve interest amongst the people of the Region, towards protection and development of the marine environment in particular in conformity with the principles embodied in the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols.

For the purpose of evaluating the credentials of the candidates for the Prize from the Member States, the Council approved the establishment of a five-member Jury who are specialists in environmental education and awareness, and that their findings should be submitted to the Executive Secretary of ROPME for approval. Since the establishment of the Annual Environmental Prize the following winners have been awarded with ROPME Prize:

1986 Capt. Ahmed Bin Said Bin Ahmed Al-Busaidi – Sultanate of Oman
Water Resources & Environmental DivisionResearch Institute of the University of Petroleum and Minerals – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1987 Engineer Ahmed Mohammed Al Subaie – State of Qatar
Kuwait Environmental Protection Society – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1988 The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Environment Protection Council – State of Kuwait

1989 Iranian Offshore Oil Company Islamic Republic of Iran
Marine Science Centre, Basrah University – Republic of Iraq

1993 Environment Protection Department – State of Kuwait

1994 Department of the Environment – Islamic Republic of Iran

1996 Dr. Ibrahim A.H. Alam Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR – State of Kuwait

1998 Qatar General Petroleum Corp. (QGPC – State of Qatar
Certificate of Appreciation given:Ras Laffan Industrial City – State of Qatar
Department of Environment – Islamic Republic of Iran

JURY FOR ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE
In order to implement the decision of the ROPME Council, taken at its Second Meeting in November 1982, to award an Annual Environmental Prize, the Council approved in 1984 the appointment of a five-member Jury to evaluate the credentials of the candidates nominated for the ROPME Annual Environmental Prize. The term of the Jury would be for three years. Four members shall be from ROPME Member States and one from outside the Region. All the five members will be selected by the Executive Secretary in individual capacity as environmentalists of good knowledge, experience and reputation.

GENERAL RULES GOVERNING THE ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE
1. AIM
The aim of the ROPME Environmental Prize is to promote all forms of activities designed to construct a desired atmosphere for Conservation, Protection, Enhancement and Understanding of the Marine Environment of the Region, as embodied in the “Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution” and its Protocols.

2. PRIZE

a) The Prize shall not be divided, save in exceptional circumstances, and shall be awarded to an individual, a group of individuals or an institution for outstanding contribution and achievement in conservation, protection, enhancement or understanding of the Marine Environment of the Region.

b) The Prize shall be awarded every three years.

c) The Prize shall be worth US$.20,000/-.

d) The Prize shall be awarded for an indeterminate duration. The decision to cease awarding the Prize is vested with the ROPME Council.

3. FUND

The Environmental Prize and its related activities will be financed by ROPME and voluntary contributions made by Member States, Institutions and Individuals.

4. DESIGNATION OF LAUREATES

The laureates shall be designated by the Executive Secretary of ROPME on the basis of recommendations submitted by the Jury.

5. JURY

The Jury shall consist of five members of which four would be from the Member States, and the fifth Member would be one who has attained international repute and recognition in the field of environment.

The members of the Jury shall be appointed by the Executive Secretary of ROPME for each Prize. This may be renewed for additional term(s).

6. CRITERIA FOR AWARDING OF THE PRIZE

The laureate shall not be subject to any kind of discrimination on the grounds of nationality, race, sex or age. He/she should have distinguished himself/herself through outstanding and regionally recognized activities in the fields of:

i) implementation, at regional or national level, of programmes and activities designed to strengthen environmental education by enlisting the support of public opinion;
ii) promotion of public awareness of the problems of marine pollution, through the media and other effective channels;
iii) launching of important activities contributing to prevention and control of marine environmental pollution and degradation;
iv) identification of the quality of the marine environment by undertaking basic or applied environmental research programmes; and
v) other activities carried out in accordance with the spirit of the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols.

7. NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

a) Member States of ROPME, regional intergovernmental organizations, regional non-governmental organizations, national institutions and ROPME Secretariat may nominate an individual, a group of individuals, or an institution considered to merit the distinction of this Prize by virtue of their activities.
b) The closing date for the submission of nominations shall be fixed by the Executive Secretary.

8. SELECTION OF THE LAUREATE AND DATE FOR THE AWARDING OF THE PRIZE

The Jury shall meet during the three months following the closing date for the submission of nominations to make its recommendations to the Executive Secretary concerning the selection of the laureate (s). The awarding of the Prize shall take place on the Environment Day of the Region (24 April).
A prize-giving ceremony shall be organized by the ROPME Secretariat. The addresses delivered on that occasion shall be published by ROPME.

RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE JURY FOR THE ROPME ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

1. MEMBERSHIP

The Jury shall consist of five personalities appointed by the Executive Secretary of ROPME on personal capacity, in accordance with Article 5 of the General Rules Governing the Prize.

2. CONVOCATION

The Executive Secretary shall convene meetings of the Jury nornmally the first week of January. The Jury meeting shall be convened when at least two qualified nominations are received.

3. VENUE OF MEETINGS
The meetings of the Jury shall normally be held at ROPME Headquarters in Kuwait.

4. MANDATE

The Jury is mandated to evaluate nominations for the ROPME Environmental Prize and to make recommendations to the Executive Secretary concerning the designation of the laureate or laureates. Exceptionally the Prize can be awarded posthumously.

5. ORGANISATION OF WORK

i) ELECTION OF OFFICERS
At the beginning of every meeting, the members of the Jury shall elect from among themselves a Chairman and a Rapporteur.

ii) QUORUM
Three members shall constitute a quorum.

iii) RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations addressed to the Executive Secretary shall be adopted by consensus. However, at the request of one member, recommendations may be put to the vote. In this case the decision shall be taken by the majority of the members of Jury present and voting. In case of an even tally, the side which includes the Chairman would merit consideration.

iv) REPORT TO THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
After each meeting, the Chairman of the Jury submits to the Executive Secretary a report on the work of the meeting prepared by the Rapporteur, within one week.

6. NOMINEE’S FILES

Prior to the meeting, the Executive Secretary shall make available to the members of the Jury a summary of the files of nominees to the ROPME Environmental Prize.

7. SECRETARIAT

The Jury shall be assisted by a member of the ROPME Secretariat who shall be assigned to that effect by the Executive Secretary.

8. CONFIDENTIALITY

All discussions and recommendations of the Jury shall be kept strictly confidential.

GUIDELINES FOR THE JURY, ROPME ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

Selection Criteria:

The Laureate should be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Scope of the activity : The significance of the activity at the Community, National and Regional levels.
2. Specification : Specific to Environmental Public Awareness, Environmental Education, Control of Pollution, Understanding the Quality of the Environment.
3. Publications : Important publications or documents produced on the Marine Environment of the Region.
4. Experience : Length of experience/establishment (in the Region) and previous recognition.
5. Benefits : Practical utility of the task performed and future potential.Benefits of the task accomplished, (whether it was significant and/or original contribution) in the protection of Marine Environment.

Rating: Each item on the selection criteria could be given a maximum score of 10. The nominees’ accomplishments/achievements could then be rated against this score and given due weightage.

National Workshop on Environmental Awareness

The National Focal Points organized national meetings and activities to promote environmental awareness in their respective countries during 2001.

Workshop on Promoting the Environmental Awareness for Journalists (In Farsi)

The workshop on promoting the environmental awareness for journalists was hosted by NFP-I.R. Iran and held in Tehran during 16-17 October 2001. The main objectives of the workshop were to highlight the important role of journalists and mass media specialists of I.R. Iran in dissemination of environmental news and in promoting of public awareness on environmental issues of the ROPME Sea Area. Another objective of the workshop was to promote communication networking among journalists, other mass media specialists, environmental education institutes and environmental information centres to facilitate communication and prompt dissemination of information on environmental issues. Fifty participants representing mass media from Tehran and coastal provinces, as well as a number of environmental and educational experts and NGOs attended the workshop.

A brochure in Farsi on the role of ROPME and its programme activities on conservation and protection of the marine environment was prepared in 1800 copies and was widely circulated on the occasion of the EA Workshop. Each participant was awarded with a “Certificate of Participation” on the closing ceremony.

Workshop on Promoting the Environmental Awareness for Journalists (in Arabic)

NFP-Oman has confirmed to provide logistic support and host this regional workshop in Muscat.

EA Cooperation with the Arab League

ROPME has been in contact with the Arab League for cooperation on environmental awareness. To this effect, ROPME attended a meeting on Educational, Informational and Environmental Awareness Programme in the Arab World held in Cairo in late October 2000. A symposium was also held in Damascus, Syria and two experts from Member States attended the event.

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/env_aware.htm

ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – Organizational Structure of ROPME

May 18, 2010

In accordance with Article XVI of the Convention, the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment(ROPME) consist of three organs i.e. the Council, the Secretariat and the Judicial Commission (see Organizational Chart).

Council

Council is consisted of the Contracting States’ Respresentatives at Ministerial level (Bahrain, I.R.Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).

ROPME is governed by the Council decisions concerning the administrative affairs and implementation of programmes of the organization.

The Council holds ordinary meetings biennially and is assisted by an Executive Committee responsible for carrying out the function of the Council during the period between the Council meetings. Extraordinary meetings of the Council shall be held upon the request of at least one Contracting State, or upon the request of the Executive Secretary endorsed by at least two Contracting States.

The Chairmanship of the Council shall be given to each Contracting State in turn in alphabetical order of the names of the States in the English language.

In addition, by decisions of the First and Second Meetings of the Council (April 1981/November 1982) the Council established an Executive Committee consisting of the Council Members of Bahrain, I.R. Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia as Members and the Executive Secretary of ROPME, as the Chairman, with the objective of carrying out the functions of the Council during the period between the Council Meetings.

SECRETARIAT

ROPME Secretariat is comprised of an Executive Secretary, Co-ordinator, Officers and other necessary personnel to perform, inter alia, the following functions:

carry out the assignments under the Convention and its Protocols
convene meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, legal/technical expert meetings and ad hoc working groups
transmit to Contracting States, notifications, reports and other information
consult with the Contracting States on questions relating to the Convention and its Protocols
prepare reports on matters relating to the Convention and to the administration of the Organization

JUDICIAL COMMISSION

As per the decision of the Executive Committee (March 1989), the Judicial Commission was established composed of six nationals of ROPME Member States (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), who are highly qualified and experienced in international law and juridical matters. The Members are appointed on ad hoc basis for a period of five years. The Statutes of the Judicial Commission stated clearly the functions of the Judicial Commission as follows:

jurisdiction to settle disputes between the Contracting States, inter alia, concerning:
the interpretation or application of the Convention or any of its Protocol;
the general obligations provided for under Article III of the Convention;
the fulfillment of the obligations provided for under the Action Plan;
the measures provided for protection of marine environment and combating pollution in the Convention and its Protocols.
jurisdiction in disputes relating to the determination of civil liability and compensation for damage resulting from pollution of the marine environment.
jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion in all legal questions at the request of the Council concerning:
the interpretation of a treaty on the protection of the marine environment from pollution;
application of rules of international Law relating to prevention, abatement and combating of marine pollution;
the existence and extent of liability of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation concerning the protection of marine environment;
the interpretation of rules and procedures of the Organization;
and any other matter referred to it by the Council.

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/structure.htm

ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – Objectives

May 18, 2010

ROPME Objectives

The objective of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) is to coordinate the Member States efforts towards protection of the water quality in ROPME Sea Area and protect the environment systems as well as marine living and to abate the pollution caused by the development activities of the Member States. In addition, ROPME requested the Member States to exert their maximum efforts to protect the marine environment and prevent the reasons of pollution.
Therefore, ROPME is playing an essential role to unify the exerted efforts of the Member States towards protection of the marine environment and to follow up the procedures of each Member States.

MEMAC Objectives
In conformity with the provisions of the Protocol, the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) was established in Bahrain and started functioning in March 1983. The objectives of MEMAC are contained in Article III of the Protocol, which read as follows:
a) to strengthen the capacities of the Contracting States and to facilitate cooperation among them in order to combat pollution by oil and other harmful substances in cases of marine emergencies;

b) to assist Contracting States, which so request in the development of their own national capabilities to combat pollution by oil and other harmful substances and to co-ordinate and facilitate information exchange, technological co-operation and training.

c) A later objective, namely the possibility of initiating operations to combat pollution by oil and other harmful substances at the Regional level. This will be subject to approval by the Council after evaluating the results of previous objectives and in the light of financial resources which could be made available for this purpose.

Objectives Of The Kuwait Action Plan
The Action Plan, also known as the Kuwait Action Plan, is intended to meet the environmental needs and enhance the environmental capabilities of ROPME Member States (Bahrain, I.R.Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) and is aimed primarily towards implementation by way of coordinated national and regional programmes. The Action Plan consists of four main components, i.e. Environmental Assessment, Environmental Management, Legal Component, and Institutional and Financial Arrangements. Since protection of the marine environment is considered as the first priority with a view to promotion of human health and well-being as the ultimate goal, the Kuwait Action Plan aims to achieve, inter-alia, the following:
a) assessment of the state of the environment including socio-economic development activities related to environmental quality and of the needs of the Region in order to assist Governments to cope properly with environmental problems, particularly those concerning the marine environment;

b) development of guidelines for the management of those activities which have an impact on environmental quality or on the protection and use of renewable marine resources on a sustainable basis;

c) development of legal instruments providing the legal basis for cooperative efforts to protect and develop the Region on a sustainable basis;

d) supporting measures including national and regional institutional mechanisms and structure needed for the successful implementation of the Action Plan.

Objectives Of The Kuwait Regional Convention
In addition to Article III (General Obligations), several Articles of the Convention imposed on the Contracting States the responsibilities to take all measures at national and regional levels to protect the marine environment from various sources of pollution, such as pollution from ships, pollution caused by dumping from ships and aircrafts, pollution from land-based sources, pollution resulting from exploration and exploitation of the bed of the territorial sea and its subsoil and the continental shelf, pollution from other human activities, co-operation in dealing with pollution Emergencies (Articles IV to IX).

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/objectives.htm

ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – About Us

May 18, 2010

Background

The eight coastal States of the Region (Bahrain, I.R. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) have been aware for a number of years of the vital necessity to coordinate a common action to protect the semi-enclosed sea surrounded by them. This great concern to protect the marine environment against pollution from various sources, prompted the State of Kuwait to propose in 1973 to the United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP) that Kuwait is desirous of hosting an inter-governmental meeting of the States of the Region in order to develop necessary measures towards the matter. Later in 1974, the Representatives of the States of the Region, who were present at the Second Session of the UNEP Governing Council, brought to the attention of the Governing Council the interest in having UNEP associated with plans for the development of a programme to deal with environmental problems of the Region. In 1976 the UNEP Governing Council at its Fourth Session approved the action of the Government of Kuwait in proceeding with preparatory work for convening a regional conference to protect the area in question against pollution, which may give rise to an agreement entitled: “Kuwait Regional Agreement for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution” or such other words as may be decided upon at the time of the conference.

The preparations for a Conference of the governments of the Region started a few months later with the organization of an inter-agency mission, sponsored by the United Nations Ocean Economics and Technology Office and the United Nations Environment Programme, which visited the eight States of the Region, between March-May 1976. Based on the mission findings, a preliminary Action Plan dealing with the scientific and socio-economic aspects of a comprehensive programme for the protection and development of the marine environment and coastal areas in the Region was prepared and was discussed at an interagency consultation held in Geneva from 12-13 October 1976. In addition, for the purpose of assisting the Governments of the Region in developing a draft Regional Agreement for the Protection of the marine environment against pollution, a Task Force Meeting on Legal Instruments for Marine Regions was held in Nairobi from 1-5 November 1976, at which a draft Agreement for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution (submitted by the Government of Kuwait) was discussed, and prepared preliminary drafts of a Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution and a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency. These were later circulated to the concerned government authorities, UN bodies and specialized agencies for their comments.

A consultative meeting of government-nominated experts from all States of the Region, as well as experts from UN specialized agencies, was convened in Kuwait from 6-10 December 1976 with the objective to seek the advice of experts from the eight countries of the Region and thus to reformulate the draft Action Plan aimed at the development and protection of the marine environment and coastal areas. Subsequently, a Meeting of Legal/Technical Experts from the Region as well as from UN specialized agencies was convened in Bahrain from 24-28 January 1977. At that meeting the experts reviewed the preliminary drafts of the Action Plan, the Convention and the Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in cases of Emergency, and prepared revised draft texts to be further studied by the concerned government authorities and the UN specialized agencies.

An expert meeting was convened from 13-18 June 1977 at Nairobi with the objective to review and prepare final drafts of the Action Plan, the Convention and the Protocol, in order to be presented to the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries for approval and adoption.

KUWAIT REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF 1978
A Regional Conference was convened in Kuwait between 15-23 April 1978, which was attended by the Plenipotentiaries as well as legal and technical experts from the eight States of the Region. The Conference adopted the following documents:

a) Kuwait Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Areas.

b) Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution.

c) Protocol concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency.

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/aboutus.htm

ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – Regional Legal Instruments

May 18, 2010

With a view of strengthening governance in the Region. ROPME has developed protocols addressing the critical areas of environmental management. The Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution (1978) has related protocols that were developed in accordance with the recommendations of the Legal Component of the Kuwait Action Plan. These protocols included:

Protocol concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (1978)
Protocol concerning Marine Pollution resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf (1989)
Protocol for the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (1990)
Protocol on the Control of Marine Transboundary Movements and Disposal of Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes (1998)
Protocol concerning the conservation of biological diversity and the establishment of protected areas.

KUWAIT REGIONAL CONVENTION FOR CO-OPERATION ON THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM POLLUTION

The Convention is the basic legal instrument binding the eight States of the Region to coordinate their activities towards protection of their common marine environment. The Convention consists of thirty Articles broadly dealing with responsibilities of the Contracting States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment which is under constant threat of pollution from offshore and land-based activities as well as marine transport. The Convention was adopted with the objective to ensure that development projects and other human activities do not in any way cause damage to the marine environment, jeopardize its living resources or create hazards to human health. Another objective of the Convention was the development of an integrated management approach to the use of the marine environment and the coastal areas in a sustainable way which will allow the achievement of environmental and developmental goals in a harmonious manner. To this effect, the importance of cooperation and coordination of action on a regional basis with the aim of protecting the marine environment and the coastal areas for the benefit of present and future generations, is emphasized throughout the Convention. The Convention which was signed on 24 April 1978, entered into force on l July 1979 and enjoys the participation of eight Parties. No Signatories without ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

The Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), as defined in Article XVI of the Convention, was established on 1 July 1979 to implement the Kuwait Action Plan, as well as the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols. Subsequently, based on the arrangements adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries, a UNEP Interim Secretariat administered the programmes and activities of the Organization until the establishment of the ROPME Secretariat in Kuwait on 1 January 1982.

The Convention shall apply to the sea area in the Region bounded in the south by the following rhumb lines: from Ras Dharbat Ali in (160 39 / N, 530 3 / 30//E) then to a position in (160 00/ N, 530 25/E) then to a position in (170 00/ N, 560 30/E) then to a position in (200 30/ N, 600 00/E) then to Ras Al Fasteh (250 04 / N, 610 25 / E), referred to as the “Sea Area”. The Sea Area shall not include internal waters of the Contracting States unless it is otherwise stated in the Convention or in any of its Protocols. That part of the Sea Area located north-west of the rhumb-line between Ras Al Hadd (22030 / N, 59048 / E) and Ras Al Fasteh (25004 / N, 61025 / E) is designated by MARPOL 73/78 as a “Special Area”.

ROPME PROTOCOLS

ROPME Protocols have been developed in accordance with the recommendations of the Legal Component of the KAP. These Protocols have made the mandate of the Kuwait Regional Convention more specific and have had an important role in harmonizing the policies of Contracting States concerning protection of the environment under the national jurisdiction of each State and that of the Region. Meetings of regional/international experts are convened regularly to examine the status of implementation of various programmes in order to ensure that the provisions of the Protocols are complied with.

PROTOCOL CONCERNING REGIONAL COOPERATION IN COMBATING POLLUTION BY OIL AND OTHER HARMFUL SUBSTANCES IN CASES OF EMERGENCY, 1978

The objective of the Protocol, which was signed on 24 April 1978 and entered into force on 1 July 1979, is to provide cooperative and effective preventive and response measures to deal with marine emergencies caused by oil and other harmful substances. Marine emergency means any casualty, incident, occurrence or situation, however caused, resulting in substantial pollution or imminent threat of substantial pollution to the marine environment by oil or other harmful substances and includes, inter alia, collisions, strandings and other incidents involving ships, including tankers, blow-outs arising from petroleum drilling and production activities, and the presence of oil or other harmful substances arising from the failure of industrial installations. The Protocol with 13 Articles and an Appendix on guidelines for reporting marine emergencies has the same status of participation as the Convention.

PROTOCOL CONCERNING MARINE POLLUTION RESULTING FROM EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE CONTINENTAL SHELF, 1989

The objective of the Protocol is to coordinate regional activities towards protection of the marine environment against pollution from exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the continental shelf. The Protocol with fifteen articles and four Guidelines is a broad framework for developing comprehensive action plans delineating the obligations of Contracting States at the national and regional levels for sound environmental practices in offshore exploration and production (E & P) activities. The Protocol has the same status of participation as the Convention.

The Kuwait Regional Convention at Article VII stipulates that the Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate and combat pollution in the Sea Area resulting from exploration and exploitation of the bed of the territorial sea and its sub-soil and the continental shelf. To this effect, the Protocol was concluded, signed on 29 March 1989, and entered into force on 17 February 1990. Later, the following Guidelines to the Protocol were adopted by the Seventh Meeting of ROPME Council on 21 February 1990:

i. Guidelines on requirements for environmental impact surveys and assessments.

ii. Guidelines on the use and storage of chemicals in offshore operations.

iii. Guidelines on the conduct of seismic operations.

iv. Guidelines on disposal of drill cuttings on the sea-bed,

These Guidelines are to assist Contracting States in developing their specific plans and measures in compliance with the provisions of the Protocol. Also, the application of common standards, criteria and regulations, as well as the harmonization of environmental policies, programmes, administration and legislation of Contracting States for the fulfillment of their obligations under the Protocol, are major objectives to be achieved in the near future.

PROTOCOL FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT AGAINST POLLUTION FROM LAND-BASED SOURCES, 1990

The Kuwait Regional Convention at Article VI stipulates that the Contracting States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, abate and combat pollution by discharges from land reaching the Sea Area whether water-borne, air-borne, or directly from the coast including outfalls and pipelines. Also, the development and adoption of a protocol on pollution resulting from land-based sources has been recommended under the Legal Component of KAP. To this effect, the Protocol with 16 Articles and 3 Annexes was finalized in 1989, signed on 21 February 1990 and entered into force on 2 January 1993.

Annex III to the Protocol addresses regional guidelines, regulations and permits for the release of wastes. Accordingly, regional regulations for the waste discharge and/or degree of treatment should be specific for each kind of source and, if necessary, may be different between existing and new sources.

Regional regulations along with the programmes, measures and the timetables required for the implementation should be developed on a priority basis, inter alia, for the following types of wastes:

Ballast water, slops, bilges and other oily water discharges generated by land-based reception facilities and ports through loading and repair operations.
Brine water and mud discharges from oil and gas drilling and extraction activities from land-based sources.
Oily and toxic sludges from crude oil and refined products storage facilities.
Effluents and emissions from petroleum refineries
Effluents and emissions from petrochemical and fertilizer plants
Toxic effluents and emissions from industries such as chlor-alkali, primary aluminium production, pesticides, insecticides, and lead recovery plants.
Emissions from natural gas flaring and desulfurization plants.
Dust emissions from major industrial sources, such as cement, lime, asphalt and concrete plants.
Effluents and emissions from power and desalination plants.
Wastes generated from coastal development activities which may have a significant impact on the Marine Environment.
Sewage and solid wastes
PROTOCOL ON THE CONTROL OF MARINE TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENTS AND DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTES AND OTHER WASTES, 1998

The main objectives of the Protocol are to protect the marine environment of the Protocol Area from detrimental effects of hazardous wastes and other wastes, to assist Contracting States in environmentally sound management of wastes they generate and to enhance cooperation and coordination of action on a regional basis with the aim of controlling the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes. To this effect, the transboundary movements of wastes, the dumping of wastes at sea, the ballast water of oil tankers and the wastes of commercial ships are covered by the Protocol.

The promotion of regional cooperation for the establishment and management of reception facilities for the reception and treatment of ballast water and other wastes from ships and for the development of an effective monitoring and surveillance system to detect and control dumping of wastes at sea, are fully addressed in the Protocol.

The Protocol with 16 Articles was signed by six ROPME Member States during the Meeting of the Plenipotentiaries held in Tehran, I.R.Iran on 17 March 1998.

PROTOCOL CONCERNING THE CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/legal.htm