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Boosting Sustainable Ship Recycling in Bangladesh: Workshops Equip Stakeholders

Boosting Sustainable Ship Recycling in Bangladesh: Workshops Equip Stakeholders

Boosting Sustainable Ship Recycling in Bangladesh: Workshops Equip Stakeholders

Bangladesh recently held a series of workshops to improve ship recycling practices in the country. These workshops, held in Dhaka and Chittagong, targeted over 300 key players in the industry, including ship managers, government officials, and other stakeholders.

The training sessions, spread over two weeks in April and May 2024, were organized under the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) SENSREC project. Funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka and implemented by IMO in collaboration with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Industries, SENSREC aims to empower Bangladesh for sustainable ship recycling. This ultimately supports the country’s journey towards joining the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling, which sets global standards for the process.

The workshops provided a valuable platform for participants to share experiences and best practices. Discussions focused on implementing the Hong Kong Convention and effectively managing hazardous waste generated during ship recycling. This is a critical issue for Bangladesh, as the industry has faced challenges in the past with improper handling and disposal of toxic materials, leading to environmental and health problems.

However, the workshops also highlighted the significant progress made by ship recycling facilities in Chittagong. These facilities have adopted improved environmental practices, serving as a model for the rest of the country.

The opening ceremony for the workshops featured prominent figures like Mrs. Zakia Sultana, Bangladesh’s Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Industries, and Mr. Espen Ritker-Svendsen, the Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh. International partners and development agencies led the workshop sessions.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) focuses on operational safety and health for workers in the industry. Meanwhile, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and German Development Cooperation (GIZ) shared insights on plans for building a facility in Chittagong dedicated to treating, storing, and disposing of hazardous waste. Additionally, these agencies provided updates on national regulations related to hazardous waste management and disposal.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Industries Senior Secretary, Mrs. Zakia Sultana, and Norway’s Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr. Espen Ritker-Svendsen, inaugurated the workshops. International partners and development agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), led sessions.

The ILO focused on operational safety and health, while JICA and GIZ discussed plans for a facility to treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste in Chittagong. They also talked about updated national regulations on hazardous waste management.

The ship recycling facilities in Chittagong have made significant progress in raising environmental standards, serving as an example for the rest of the country.

Launched in 2015, SENSREC is currently in its third phase. This phase specifically targets improving ship recycling practices to comply with the Hong Kong Convention. It also focuses on capacity building for the Bangladeshi government in terms of legislation and knowledge management. Furthermore, the project provides specific assistance in establishing a facility for handling hazardous waste from ship recycling.

By equipping key stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and fostering collaboration, these workshops represent a significant step forward for Bangladesh’s ship recycling industry. With improved practices and a focus on environmental responsibility, the industry can contribute to a more sustainable future.

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