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Bangladesh Boosts Ship Recycling Practices with International Help

Bangladesh Boosts Ship Recycling Practices with International Help

Bangladesh Boosts Ship Recycling Practices with International Help

Bangladesh recently held a series of workshops to improve the safety and environmental impact of its ship recycling industry. These workshops, organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), equipped around 300 key players with the knowledge needed for sustainable ship recycling.

Training for a Greener Future

The workshops took place over two weeks in Dhaka and Chattogram, targeting shipyard managers, government officials, and others involved in ship recycling. The training sessions covered essential topics like:

  • Safe and environmentally sound ship recycling practices: This ensures that ships are dismantled without harming workers or the environment.
  • Hazardous waste management: Improper handling of toxic materials from ships has been a major concern in Bangladesh. The workshops focused on best practices for handling and disposing of these hazardous materials safely.

International Collaboration for Sustainable Practices

The workshops were part of the IMO’s SENSREC project, funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Bangladesh. This project aims to:

  • Increase Bangladesh’s ability to recycle ships sustainably.
  • Help Bangladesh implement the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling. This convention sets global standards for ship recycling.

Sharing Knowledge and Experiences

The workshops provided a platform for participants to share experiences and successful strategies. This included:

  • Learning from each other’s efforts in implementing the Hong Kong Convention.
  • Discussing methods for managing hazardous waste effectively.

Raising the Bar for Environmental Standards

Historically, Bangladesh’s ship recycling industry has faced challenges with improper waste disposal, leading to environmental and health problems. However, recent years have seen significant progress. Some ship recycling facilities in Chattogram have taken the initiative to improve their environmental standards, setting a positive example for the rest of the industry.

Expert Guidance for a Brighter Future

The workshops featured presentations from national and international experts. These included:

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) on worker safety and health during ship recycling.
  • The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on plans for a new facility in Chattogram. This facility will treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste safely. The workshops also addressed updates to national regulations on hazardous waste management.

Building a Sustainable Future for Ship Recycling

The SENSREC project, currently in its third phase, is committed to:

  • Helping Bangladesh achieve ship recycling practices that comply with the Hong Kong Convention.
  • Enhancing the government’s ability to manage ship recycling through better laws and knowledge sharing.
  • Supporting the development of a hazardous waste treatment facility in Chattogram.

The workshops featured sessions led by national experts and development agencies. The International Labour Organization (ILO) discussed operational safety and health, while the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and German Development Cooperation (GIZ) shared information about plans for establishing a facility for treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste in Chattogram. They also discussed updated national regulations on hazardous waste management and disposal.

The SENSREC project began in 2015 and is now in its third phase, focusing on improving ship recycling standards to comply with the Hong Kong Convention. It also aims to enhance capacity building for the Government of Bangladesh in legislation and knowledge management. Specific assistance is provided for establishing a facility for treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

The Hong Kong Convention is expected to enter into force on June 26, 2025. These workshops and ongoing projects position Bangladesh to play a leading role in safe and sustainable ship recycling practices.

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