Monitoring and Assessment of dumped munitions in the global ocean: an integrated approach

Heritage Malta

Monitoring and Assessment of dumped munitions in the global ocean: an integrated approach

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Ocean dumping of conventional and chemical munitions was widespread in the 20th century. Most disposal occurred in the years and decades following World Wars I and II, However, this continued until the 1990s when international conventions on arms control and dumping were agreed. Discarding generally took place in coastal waters and enclosed seas, but substantial dump sites extend across the shelf to break, slope, and deep ocean regions, especially adjacent to Europe and North America, and in the southwest Pacific. These dumped munitions are extremely hazardous to human health and the marine environment. Human encounters, in fishing and dredging for example, can be lethal when the weapons explode, while corroded munition housings result in exposure to highly toxic explosives. Corrosion leads to explosives entering ocean systems, resulting in the contamination of organisms, impacting ecosystem sustainability and services, and ocean and human health. Because munitions inventories can be incomplete or limited, the amounts, types, condition, and sites are often not very well known.

The above issues have been addressed in several national and international projects, yet no such initiatives have been executed in a Central Mediterranean context. The seabed in Malta is only just starting to be mapped and explored. It is therefore imperative for Malta to start the process of understanding the extent of the issue as well as potential remedies and courses of future action.

Register online on the Heritage Malta website. Limited spaces are available. Registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Preliminary programme

Day 1
Seminar 1 – Munitions in seas and Oceans

Day 2
Seminar 2 – Detection and identification of munitions
Seminar 3 – Pollution of environment

Day 3
Seminar 4 – Underwater munitions and climate change
Seminar 5 – Impact on Ecosystem

Day 4
Seminar 6 – Cooperation and funding opportunities
Round Table – Themed sessions

Day 5
Rapporteur sessions, Discussions and Wrap up – including way forward regarding publication

Day 6
Site visit
Discussion regarding future collaboration. Final remarks and official closure

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Date And Time

22-04-24 to

Event Category

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