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[From Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, June 1972.]

B. Marine Pollution

Recommendation 86

It is recommended that Governments, with the assistance and guidance of appropriate United Nations bodies, in particular the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP):

  1. Accept and implement available instruments on the control of the maritime sources of marine pollution;

  2. Ensure that the provisions of such instruments are complied with by ships flying their flags and by ships operating in areas under their jurisdiction and that adequate provisions are made for reviewing the effectiveness of, and revising, existing and proposed international measures for control of marine pollution;

  3. Ensure that ocean dumping by their nationals anywhere, or by any person in areas under their jurisdiction, is controlled and that Governments shall continue to work towards the completion of, and bringing into force as soon as possible of, an over-all instrument for the control of ocean dumping as well as needed regional agreements within the framework of this instrument, in particular for enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, which are more at risk from pollution;

  4. Refer the draft articles and annexes contained in the report of the intergovernmental meetings at Reykjavik, Iceland, in April 1972 and in London in May 1972 to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea bed and the Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction at its session in July/August 1972 for information and comments and to a conference of Governments to be convened by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations before November 1972 for further consideration, with a view to opening the proposed convention for signature at a place to be decided by that Conference, preferably before the end of 1972;

  5. Participate fully in the 1973 Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) Conference on Marine Pollution and the Conference on the Law of the Sea scheduled to begin in 1973, as well as in regional efforts, with a view to bringing all significant sources of pollution within the marine environment, including radioactive pollution from nuclear surface ships and submarines, and in particular in enclosed and semi enclosed seas, under appropriate controls and particularly to complete elimination of deliberate pollution, by oil from ships, with the goal of achieving this by the middle of the present decade;

  6. Strengthen national controls over land-based sources of marine pollution, in particular in enclosed and semi enclosed seas and recognize that, in some circumstances, the discharge of residual heat from nuclear and other power stations may constitute a potential hazard to marine ecosystems.

Recommendation 87

It is recommended that Governments:

  1. Support national research and monitoring efforts that contribute to agreed international programmes for research and monitoring in the marine environment, in particular the Global Investigation of Pollution in the Marine Environment (GIPME) and the Integrated Global Ocean Station System (IGOSS);

  2. Provide to the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, as appropriate to the data-gathering activities of each, statistics on the production and use of toxic or dangerous substances that are potential marine pollutants, especially if they are persistent;

  3. Expand their support to components of the United Nations system concerned with research and monitoring in the marine environment and adopt the measures required to improve the constitutional, financial and operational basis under which the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is at present operating so as to make it an effective mechanism for the Governments and United Nations organizations concerned (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Meteorological Organization, Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, United Nations) and in order that it may be able to take on additional responsibilities for the promotion and coordination of scientific programmes and services.

Recommendation 88

It is recommended that the Secretary-General, together with the sponsoring agencies, make it possible for the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP):

  1. To re-examine annually, and revise as required, its "Review of Harmful Chemical Substances' with a view to elaborating further its assessment of sources, pathways and resulting risks of marine pollutants;

  2. To assemble, having regard to other work in progress, scientific data and to provide advice on scientific aspects of marine pollution, especially those of an interdisciplinary nature.

Recommendation 89

It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure:

  1. That mechanisms for combining world statistics on mining, production, processing, transport and use of potential marine pollutants shall be developed along with methods for identifying high-priority marine pollutants based in part on such data;

  2. That the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP), in consultation with other expert groups, proposes guidelines for test programmes to evaluate toxicity of potential marine pollutants;

  3. That the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency encourage studies of the effects of high-priority marine pollutants on man and other organisms, with appropriate emphasis on chronic, low-level exposures;

  4. That the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, explore the possibility of establishing an international institute for tropical marine studies, which would undertake training as well as research.

Recommendation 90

It is recommended that the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, jointly with the World Meteorological Organization and, as appropriate, in cooperation with other interested intergovernmental bodies, promote the monitoring of marine pollution, preferably within the framework of the Integrated Global Ocean Station System (IGOSS), as well as the development of methods for monitoring high-priority marine pollutants in the water, sediments and organisms, with advice from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP) on inter comparability of methodologies.

Recommendation 91

It is recommended that the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission:

  1. Ensure that provision shall be made in international marine research, monitoring and related activities for the exchange, dissemination, and referral to sources of data and information on baselines and on marine pollution and that attention shall be paid to the special needs of developing countries;

  2. Give full consideration, with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organization, the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, the World Health Organization, the international Atomic Energy Agency, the International Hydrographic Organization and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and other interested and relevant organizations, to the strengthening of on-going marine and related data and information exchange and dissemination activities;

  3. Support the concept of development of an interdisciplinary and interorganizational system primarily involving centres already in existence;

  4. Initiate an interdisciplinary marine pollution data and scientific information referral capability.

Recommendation 92

It is recommended:

  1. That Governments collectively endorse the principles set forth in paragraph 197 of Conference document A/CONF.48/8 as guiding concepts for the Conference on the Law of the Sea and the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) Marine Pollution Conference scheduled to be held in 1973 and also the statement of objectives agreed on at the second session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Marine Pollution, which reads as follows:

      "The marine environment and all the living organisms which it supports are of vital importance to humanity, and all people have an interest in assuring that this environment is so managed that its quality and resources are not impaired. This applies especially to coastal nations, which have a particular interest in the management of coastal area resources. The capacity of the sea to assimilate wastes and render them harmless and its ability to regenerate natural resources are not unlimited. Proper management is required and measures to prevent and control marine pollution must be regarded as an essential element in this management of the oceans and seas and their natural resources";

    and that, in respect of the particular interest of coastal States in the marine environment and recognizing that the resolution of this question is a matter for consideration at the Conference on the Law of the Sea, they take note of the principles on the rights of coastal States discussed but neither endorsed nor rejected at the second session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Marine Pollution and refer those principles to the 1973 Inter Governmental Maritime consultative Organization Conference for information and to the 1973 Conference on the Law of the Sea for such action as may be appropriate;

  2. That Governments take early action to adopt effective national measures for the control of all significant sources of marine pollution, including land-based sources, and concert and coordinate their actions regionally and where appropriate on a wider international basis;

  3. That the Secretary-General, in cooperation with appropriate international organizations, endeavor to provide guidelines which Governments might wish to take into account when developing such measures.

Recommendation 93

It is recommended that any mechanism for coordinating and stimulating the actions of the different United Nations organs in connexion with environmental problems include going its functions over-all responsibility for ensuring that needed advice on marine pollution problems shall be provided to Governments.

Recommendation 94

It is recommended that the Secretary-General, with the cooperation of United Nations bodies, take steps to secure additional financial support to those training and other programmes of assistance that contribute to increasing the capacity of developing countries to participate in international research, monitoring and pollution control programmes.