The decision, taken at a meeting of the convention's technical working group, reflects the need to achieve a co-ordinated and global approach to properly tackle the industry's well-documented problems.
"The meeting reiterated how important the work of IMO and ILO is to address the issue worldwide in a comprehensive manner," said Pierre Portas, technical director at the convention's
He said there would be no substantial changes to the guidelines, which will provide a common foundation which governments can apply to ships destined for scrap and will likely be adopted at the working group's next meeting in May.
The guidelines call for a review of ship design and construction, promoting the idea that green scrapping starts when the vessel is being built.
The "maker to breaker" concept was highlighted by IMO secretary general William O'Neil during an interview published on the website of Norwegian classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV).
"A ship's death should be prepared for, even before its birth," Mr O&'Neil said.
"The ship's design and construction must take into account how dismantling and recycling can be carried out."
Operational decisions must also take into account this long-term perspective, he added.
The IMO has now set up a working group to look at the issue of ship recycling, which will figure prominently on the agenda for the next meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in March.
But the organisation makes clear that its responsibility and authority ends on the beaches, that it has no remit to address issues of worker safety of yard environments.
"The IMO cannot and should not be involved in these," Mr O'Neil told DNV. [con’d. p. 2] The problem of regulatory jurisdiction is the main reason why group's such as the Basle Convention are trying to pull together the various initiatives under way.
Paul Bailey, industrial specialist at the ILO, said the organisation was working on its own set of guidelines related to conditions for workers on shore.
The ILO has conducted extensive, on-the-ground research at yards in
Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and . China
It is now seeking funding for a technical co-operation project which focuses on three-year strategies to working conditions in shipbreaking yards.
Source: ban.org. By Brian Reyes, LLoyds List. 23 January 2002