top of page

GloFouling Partnerships is part of the wider efforts by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive species. This work began in 2001 under the GloBallast Programme.

Project strategy: IMO's Glo-X Pyramid model of project implementation

The adapted version of the full Glo-X pyramid model pictured below, illustrates how the Legal, Policy and Institutional Review (LPIR) roadmap integrates with the engagement of private sector industries through their participation in a public-private partnership created by the GloFouling Project to catalyse technology development, cooperation, transfer and demonstration, which is implemented in parallel to the LPIR process also at the global, regional, national and local level. 



Focused on addressing industry concerns and facilitating adoption of new technologies


Focused on legal, policy and institutional review, and
capacity building

Project objective

The overall objective of the GloFouling Partnership Project is to build capacity in developing countries for implementing the IMO Biofouling and other relevant guidelines for biofouling management and to catalyse overall reductions in the transboundary introduction of biofouling-mediated IAS with additional benefits in the reduction of GHG emissions from global shipping. 

While IMO will focus on shipping and associated industries, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) has joined the three main partners (GEF, UNDP and IMO) to lead the approach to other marine sectors with a view to developing best practices that may address the transfer of invasive aquatic species through improved biofouling management.  IOC-UNESCO will work hand in hand with the GloFouling Project team at IMO to increase awareness of this environmental challenge among key stakeholders. 

Project components

The work of the GloFouling Project is divided into five major components:

  1. Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms (LPIR) in participating countries, developed and implemented to minimise the risk of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) transferred through biofouling.

  2. Capacity building and technical support for the implementation of the 2011 Biofouling Guidelines and best practices for biofouling management in other ocean industries.

  3. Public-private partnerships to bring active private sector participation at global, regional, national and local levels, to support the development of innovative technological and other solutions and financial sustainability for the control and management of biofouling.

  4.  Knowledge management systems and enhanced stakeholder and institutional cooperation for research, monitoring and evaluation of biofouling management and control measures.

  5.  Monitoring and evaluation.

Key Project outputs


  • National and regional strategies

  • National status assessments

  • Institutional capacity-building


  • Awareness-raising materials on all aspects of biofouling and invasive aquatic species

  • Long-feature documentary

  • Campaings for recreational boating community


  • Reports on GHG emissions

  • GESAMP report on non-shipping industries

  • Eight technical publications and studies related to biofouling management

  • Global knowledge hub

  • R&D Forums and Exhibitions


  • Develop industry best practices for biofouling management

  • Global Industry Alliance

  • Sustainable Ocean Summit

  • In-water cleaning technology review

  • Ocean Investment Platform


  • 12 Demonstration sites

  • 5 Training courses

  • Gender empowerment activities

bottom of page