National Assembly approves, ratifies two environmentally-related conventions | 03 July 2019
The National Assembly yesterday voted unanimously to ratify two international conventions geared towards environment protection.
Honourable Sebastien Pillay moved two motions on behalf of leader of government business Charles de Commarmond, the first calling for the National Assembly to ratify the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage and secondly, to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Honourable Pillay urged the assembly to unanimously vote in favour of the first motion stating that it is extremely important and imperative to fill a gap that exists in instances where there are accidents at sea, resulting in oil spills.
Seychelles is a party to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992) which applies to oil tankers and oil-carrying ships. However, the convention at hand extends beyond oil-carrying ships to encapsulate “spills of oil, when carried in ships’ bunkers”.
The convention applies to ships exceeding 1,000 tonnes and requires party states to issue certificates to ship owners for insurance purposes to allow for claims for compensation in instances of pollution damage caused on the territory, the territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
In the local context, the convention will be adopted and given effect under the Merchant Shipping Act. The Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA) is the overseeing entity and will issue certificates to owners of ships exceeding 1,000 tonnes as stipulated by the convention.
Honourable Churchill Gill seconded the motion and numerous members pronounced themselves on the motion, expressing support for the ratification and adoption of the convention.
The convention was ratified by a unanimous vote of 26 in favour.
The second motion to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was also approved unanimously with 23 votes.
During his intervention, Honourable Pillay once again emphasised the importance of the convention in helping to reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, potent GHGs, and thus avoid global warming of up to 0.4°C this century.
The motion was seconded by honourable Sylvanne Lemiel.