United Nations
#OceanAction21356
Establishment of the International Marine Training Centre for Innovative Science and Technology for Sea Dumped Weapons, and Shipborne Disposal Solutions to Support the Eradication of all Underwater Munitions
by International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM), is a non-governmental organization founded in Canada in 2004, and established, as a Dutch Foundation in The Hague, The Netherlands in 2014, as a focal point for Voluntary Cooperation on underwater munitions (UWM’s): Policy, Science, Technology and Responses.

IDUM, is an internationally recognized body of experts, where stakeholders (diplomats, environmental protection, fishery, fossil fuel, salvage divers, military, and others) can cooperate in an open and transparent forum to seek solutions and develop partnerships and responses for sea dumped chemical, radiological and conventional munitions.

The most cost-effective disposal method of munitions for more than 90 years, was to dump them into our waterways, seas, and ocean. Based on publicly available information, including archives, there is an excess of one billion tones of dumped munitions.

Underwater Munitions toxins (“Silent Killers”) negatively affect our marine environment and human health. There are confirmed environmental implications that identify depleting fish stocks, extra fish diseases, stress on kidneys and livers of Cod fish, and the inability of juvenile fish to reproduce. Scientists believe, that some chemical weapons may dissipate in water, but others like arsenic, can bioaccumulation in the food chain, and, ultimately, produce human health concerns, including cancers. In many world regions people unknowingly consume contaminated fish. Chemical plums drift in our waters from underwater munitions sites, exposing large areas to chemical contamination. It’s just a matter of time before chemical weapons plums begin to meet one-another in our seas and ocean, raising the temperature of our waters and destroying our marine ecosystem, unless we “Call to Action”.

Underwater Munitions are the Point-Source Emitters of Pollution, which means that, in most cases, when we remove the source from the water we remove the problem. Mostly, munitions are not fused, therefore can be safely removed, on a “case by case” basis.

INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUE ON UNDERWATER MUNITIONS (IDUM), commits to create an International Marine Training Center in Canada and The Netherlands for Innovative Science and Technology for underwater munitions and, to Cooperate with the international community, state parties, local and regional governments, commissions, conventions, international bodies, defense, NGO’s, donors, private and public sectors on underwater munitions.

The Center will serve as the global focal point for exchange of information to further increase knowledge and awareness of Underwater Munitions Policy, Science, Technology and Responses by:

1. Cooperate to develop Policy and Standards, including an International Treaty for all Underwater Munitions on Human Health and Environment

2. Creating Global Awareness on the Impact from Underwater Munitions on Human Health, Environment

3. Creating a Global Database and Regional Maps of Underwater Munitions Sites for the Exchange of Information

4. Developing an International Underwater Testing and Training Centre for Underwater Munitions Innovative Science and Technology Development

5. Developing International Training Programs on Underwater Munitions for Marine Surveys, Investigations, Recovery, and Disposal

6. Promoting Global Clean-up by developing Shipborne and in-situ Disposal Solutions for Underwater Munitions

7. Explore Deepwater Chemical Weapons Site/s to determine the impact on the environment and to develop responses
Updates to voluntary commitment
August 2017
Establishment of the International Underwater Training Centre with Underwater Training Grids to train munitions response technicians in clean-up of underwater munitions
July 2017
Creation of a focal point for the exchange of information for all Stakeholders, including maps, and developing new and emerging innovative science and technology approaches to sea dumped weapons
July 2019
To develop a specialized ship with a built-in disposal solution for sea dumped weapons
May 2018
Development of the International training programs, including underwater vehicles for munitions survey, investigation and disposal
In-kind contribution
Financial support for Shipborne Solution Funds
In-kind contribution
In- kind contribution of 5 acres of land, and the waterfront for the building of the International Training Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada
Staff / Technical expertise
Knowledge, Research, and Technical Expertise provided by the members of the IDUM International Technology Advisory Board (ITAB)
Staff / Technical expertise
Volunteer Staff has been identified to build underwater Training Grid
Updates
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2017 - Ongoing
Partners
IDUM
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
UN Environment, OPCW, NATO, WHO, Helsinki Commission, ASCOBANS, CDC, OSPAR Commission, HELCOM, Helsinki Commission - SUBMERGED, International Seabed Authority (ISA)
Contact information
Terrance P. Long, Chairman, CEO - International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions, chair@Idum.org, +1-902-577-9439
The Hague, The Netherlands
Other SDGs
United Nations