Voluntary Commitment to the United Nations Environmental Program


Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

OceanAction#21356 in accordance with SDG14 – by International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions
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


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 (UWMs): 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 have a “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, NGOs, 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

Targets covered

14.1 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(please specify):

  • Warfare Materials
14.2 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
14.3 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
14.4 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)
14.5 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
14.6 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 subsidie
14.7 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
14.a 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
14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets TYPE OF COMMITMENT

  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
14.c 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

  • 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


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
AUGUST 2017 Establishment of the International Underwater Training Centre with Underwater Training Grids to train munitions response technicians in clean-up of underwater munitions
MAY 2018 Development of the International training programs, including underwater vehicles for munitions survey, investigation and disposal
JULY 2019 To develop a specialized ship with a built-in disposal solution for sea dumped weapons

Resources mobilized

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 to voluntary commitment, as seen in the UN OCEAN ACTION NEWSLETTER #1
    29-09-17 The International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) have established an action plan based on their commitment “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” (#OceanAction21356) and are mobilizing partners in the private sector to establish center, in addition to developing a roadmap for an International Treaty on Munitions.