The prestigious International Maritime Prize
By PATRICK MAYOYO
International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) GloBallast programme has been selected as a finalist in the environment category of a major global award.
The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme has been working (2008-2016) to build capacity to address the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens between marine ecosystems through ships’ ballast water and sediments, one of the greatest threats to the world’s coastal and marine environments.
GloBallast has been active in more than 70 countries to support national and regional capacity to ratify and implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which is close to reaching entry into force criteria.
The programme has also established a Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosecurity to catalyze and promote new technological solutions to the ballast water problem; raised awareness through video and other materials.
The global body organized six international R&D Fora; and facilitated training through practical workshops and online modules. The final winners of the prestigious Lloyds List Global Awards will be announced in November 2016.
The GloBallast programme has won a number of international awards. Most recently, IMO presented the “Glo-X” partnerships model, based on the GloBallast Partnerships Programme, which won the best Portfolio Solution Award at the 8th International Waters Conference (IWC8) organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Negombo, Sri Lanka (9-13 May).
The award was given for the project with the best strategy for scaling-up investments aimed at addressing global environmental issues facing international waters, including the oceans.
Meanwhile, the prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2015 is to be awarded to Dr. Frank Lawrence Wiswall Junior, former Chair of the IMO Legal Committee and Vice-President (Honoris Causa) Comité Maritime International (CMI), for his contribution to the work of IMO over many years.
The IMO Council has decided to award the Prize, noting Dr. Wiswall’s personal contribution to the work of IMO, leading IMO’s Legal Committee as it developed a number of key international treaties and holding important roles at various international IMO legal and diplomatic conferences.
As a lecturer at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta and as a Member of its Governing Board from 1992 to the present, Dr. Wiswall has also made a significant contribution to the training of lawyers from around the world.
In nominating his candidature for the International Maritime Prize, the CMI said Dr. Wiswall had contributed greatly to the establishment of the uniformity of maritime law during his long and distinguished career as a practising maritime lawyer, academic and Vice-President of the CMI.
Frank Wiswall was born in Albany, New York and raised in Maine, United States. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Colby College, a Doctor of Law at Cornell University and a Doctor of Philosophy at Clare College, Cambridge University. He was admitted to the Bar in the State of Maine in 1965 and the Supreme Court of the United States in 1968.
Dr. Wiswall worked with New York admiralty and law firm Burlingham Underwood (1967-1973) before taking on the role as Admiralty Counsel, Bureau of Maritime Affairs for the Republic of Liberia (1973-1988). He worked as Maritime Counsel at the International Bank in Washington DC and has been in private practice and consultation on admiralty and maritime international law since 1985.
Dr. Wiswall was elected Vice-Chair of the Legal Committee (1974-1979), Chair of the Legal Committee (1980-1984), and served as acting Chair for a number of Legal Committee sessions.