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The GloBallast Story: Reflections from a Global Family

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Partnerships to catalyze transformational innovations in marine biosafety

Shipping is a great connector between continents, countries and cities—about 80 percent of international trade relies on shipping. However, global shipping is also a significant source of the spread of invasive alien species when ship’s ballast water is not managed properly. Invasive alien species often disrupt the local ecosystems, threaten local economies and livelihoods, cause diseases, and can even cause the loss of human life. Moreover, experience shows that once invasive alien species have been introduced and established, they are virtually impossible to eradicate. Preventing their arrival in the first place is the best strategy. This was the fundamental rationale for GloBallast. For more than a decade – in a partnership between GEF, UNDP and IMO – GloBallast has mobilized a broad coalition of more than 50 countries, shipping lines, port authorities and other stakeholders around a bold vision to eliminate ballast water as a key conduit for invasive alien species and a driver of global biodiversity loss.

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