Students Join United Nations Diplomatic Conference on Global Ocean Dumping Issues

Article written by Patrick Cotter (Adjunct Faculty, GSIPM) and IEP Students

MIIS Students with IMO Bow SculptureA delegation of International Environmental Policy students, from the Fall 2015 course titled “Managing International Marine Pollution,” attended a meeting of the Contracting Parties to the London Convention and London Protocol on global ocean dumping issues. The meeting was held at the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization in London, UK from October 12-16, 2015.

The student delegates researched specific agenda topics and developed position papers on front-line, real-world environmental issues related to ocean dumping of wastes and other matter. The position papers were written to aid the delegation’s understanding of the complexities of global ocean dumping challenges and to provide talking points for use in discussions with delegates during meeting breaks. MIIS Delegation at IMO head table

Students were afforded a unique first-hand view of how nations debate and discuss actual treaty concerns in a major plenary session dealing with actual environmental pollution problems. The students met several of the delegates during the week of plenary sessions and were able to ask questions about environmental impacts and pollution concerns for wastes dumped at sea.

In addition, the students met with the Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in London. The ESTH Counselor explained his duties at the Embassy and talked to the students about his career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. The students discussed current and past environmental issues related to the International Maritime Organization and U.S. interests in Western Europe.

MIIS Students in seats at IMO Plenary

MIIS Delegation with Queen Elizabeth plaque


All photos courtesy of Patrick Cotter

Photo descriptions:

Top of page: this photo was taken in the lobby of US Embassy at Grosvenor Square in London. Left to right: Ed Heartney's intern, Mari MacEachern, Grace Johnson, Emma Tonge, Jennifer Adams, Melis Okter, Emily Summerlin Shaun Richards, Patrick Cotter & Edward Heartney (Environment, Science, Technology & Health Counselor at the Embassy).

First paragraph, left: MIIS students standing at the base of the International Maritime Organization's Seafarers' Memorial statute outside their offices on 4 Albert Embankment, London. Left to right: Emma Tonge, Grace Johnson, Melis Okter, Jennifer Adams, Emily Summerlin, Mari MacEachern & Shaun Richards.

Second paragraph, right: This photo was taken at the head table at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). You can see the IMO logo in the background. From left to right: Jennifer Adams, Emma Tonge, Shaun Richards, Melis Okter, Mari MacEachern, Emily Summerlin & Patrick Cotter.

Bottom of page, second to last: MIIS students sitting at the IMO plenary meeting. Left to right: Emma Tonge, Jennifer Adams, Mari MacEachern, Emily Summerlin, Melis Okter & Shaun Richards.

Bottom of page, last photo: This photo was taken at the IMO in front of the plaque dedicating the IMO building in 1983 by the Queen of England. From left to right: Patrick Cotter, Jennifer Adams, Grace Johnson, Emma Tonge, Emily Summerlin, Mari MacEachern, Melis Okter & Shaun Richards.