United Nations
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))
Our oceans, seas, and waterways have become junkyards for discarded military munitions. For more than 70 years, the most cost-effective means of disposing munitions was to dump them into our oceans, seas, and waterways. These “silent killers” pollute the marine environment affecting the ocean in ways we are only beginning to understand. Scientific studies show that while some chemical warfare agents like arsenic can bioaccumulate in the food chain, placing human health at risk. Underwater munitions are “point-source emitters of pollution,” meaning that, when we remove the source, we remove the problem.
There is a need to clean. The wellbeing of present and future generations is inextricably linked to the health and productivity of the ocean. Technology developed by governments and the private sector is capable of cleaning these remnants of 20th century warfare.
International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) was founded in Canada in 2004 and established in 2014 as a foundation in the Netherlands. Our mission is to better understand the environment we aim to protect, create partnerships among stakeholders, and discuss in an open and transparent process science, technology, and policy to develop best practices for the safe removal and disposal of sea dumped munitions of all classes (conventional, chemical, and radiological). IDUM promotes the adoption of a binding international treaty to clean up underwater munitions from our oceans and to address their human health and environmental impact.
IDUM has successfully hosted five International Dialogues on underwater munitions related issues. Our work is recognized by international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. IDUM is also active in collaborative research in a wide range of fields (including oceanography, ecology, toxicology, technology, risk assessment history, and history).
IDUM commits to create an Innovative Marine Science & Technology Centre (IMSTC) in Cape Brenton, Canada to support the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Under Water). The IMSTC will serve as a forum for international cooperation in the form of exchange of scientific information and technology, training, and policy solutions for underwater munitions disposal. The IMSTC will:
1. Collaborate with the United Nations and Member States to develop policy and scientific standards for identification, monitoring, risk assessment, and removal
2. Explore deep water chemical weapons sites, study their impact, and develop responses
3. Raise awareness of the environmental and human health impact of underwater munitions
4. Host annual international dialogues on underwater munitions in affected regions
5. Create a global database of underwater munitions sites
6. Facilitate the exchange of information and technology
7. Develop training programs for marine surveys, investigations, recovery, and munitions disposal
8. Develop shipborne and in situ disposal solutions for underwater munitions
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Other (please specify): Warfare Materials
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
  • information relating to harmful subsidies
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
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
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2017 - Ongoing
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