8 Jun 2020 - A ground-breaking Global Industry Alliance (GIA) has been launched to tackle two of the most pressing environmental issues of our time – invasive species and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The GIA brings together stakeholders in the private sector and the GloFouling Partnerships, a project led by United Nations entities to address the transfer of harmful aquatic species through biofouling.
The new GIA will accelerate the development of solutions to improve the management of marine biofouling, which is the build-up of aquatic organisms on ships’ hulls or submerged structures such as platforms and aquaculture installations. Biofouling can lead to the introduction of potentially invasive species to new environments, where they may threaten native species and cause irreversible damage to biodiversity. It also has measurable impacts on a number of economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture and ocean energy. Once established in a new ecosystem, invasive species are extremely difficult - if not impossible - to eradicate.
The new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety brings together private sector companies from various industries affected by biofouling, including shipping, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas and ocean renewable energies. These maritime champions will work together with the GloFouling Partnerships Project, a joint initiative between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The key aims of the GIA are to leverage human, technological and financial resources; facilitate industry input into policy developments and a positive pull for reform processes; and the development and dissemination of technological solutions to improve biofouling management.