|Transitional measures to combine two global ocean dumping treaties into a single treaty|
In: Marine Policy. Pergamon: Guildford. ISSN 0308-597X; e-ISSN 1872-9460
Waste disposal > Ocean dumping
London convention; London protocol; International oceans governance
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The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 (the London Convention, or LC) established a global regime for the protection of the marine environment from pollution caused by ocean dumping and incineration at sea. In 1996, at the Special Meeting of the LC, the Contracting Parties to the LC adopted the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter 1972 (the London Protocol, or LP), which updates and improves the LC and should eventually supersede it. On March 24, 2006, 10 years after its adoption, the LP entered into force. Not all of the LC Parties have ratified the LP; many countries are still working towards accession, and some countries not Party to either regime are still ratifying the Convention instead of the Protocol. The LP Parties have striven to develop a well-functioning compliance mechanism and at the same time address newly emerging issues threatening the marine environment. Conversely, the LC Parties have agreed not to amend the LC further. This tension makes it increasingly uncomfortable to continue to hold the meetings of the two governing bodies concurrently, as is now done to maximize organizational efficiency. This paper attempts to remove some of the confusion caused by the existence of these two seemingly identical but in fact distinct global marine environment treaties. It further proposes some transitional measures to merge the LC into the LP to form a single global dumping treaty to protect the marine environment in the 21st century.