6 - 10 SEPTEMBER 2021 - KIEL
The international forum
for tackling the challenges of
offshore munition clearance
The Kiel Munition Clearance Week 2021 may have ended, but the message sent by its speakers from science, academia, industry, politics, NGOs and navy still reverberates. Re-watch the speeches and presentations here:
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Explosive remnants of war and military activity endanger the environment, shipping, marine infrastructure, and human safety around the world. Meeting these challenges will require large-scale efforts by all stakeholders over the next decades. The Kiel Munition Clearance Week wants to inform and propel these efforts by creating a shared perspective on the challenge that will bring together the latest scientific research, industry best practice, navy expertise, technical innovation as well as economic and political considerations.
The event has addressed the whole spectra of pressing issues in legacy munition clearance. Through keynotes, panel debates, technology showcases and workshops it has covered the following topics:
The State of Research
The State of Research
For over 70 years dumped munitions have been corroding off many coasts of Europe and the world. Through international projects and by collecting their own data research institutes want to provide clarity about the extent of the problem to be able to propose steps for mitigation. Getting a shared perspective on the current research environment, on the different projects that aim to identify where the munitions are located and what the consequences of leaking toxins are, is crucial for finding a solution to the problem.
Watch Session 1
Environmental & Societal Impacts
Decades after the Second World War unexploded ordnances and mass dumped munitions are still lying rusting away in the oceans. In sea water munitions, including chemical weapons, break open over time and release their toxic content into the environment. Research shows that fish and shellfish in the direct surroundings of the munitions ingest these toxic substances, such as TNT, and thus they can enter the food chain. It is therefore crucial to figure out the impact(s) of dumped munitions on the environment, food security and coastal communities.
Watch Session 2
Environmental & Societal Impacts
Legal Aspects
Legal Aspects
An international effort in large-scale clearing is necessary to protect the marine environment and communities that depend on the sea from the dangers of legacy munitions. The need for remediation raises the question of responsibility. This issue is not easily resolved, and the views taken on the obligations stemming from dumped munitions and the status of scuttered naval vessels varies from stakeholder to stakeholder. To resolve and avoid disputes between costal states, reliable and recognized legal expertise is critical to balance the emotional aspects and moral considerations connected to the protection of the marine environment and human security.
Watch Session 3
Detection & Identification Technologies
Some dumping grounds are well known. Others are not. How do we find dumped munitions in the seas and oceans? For detection and identification of dumped munitions and UXOs, many different technologies are being used. Sonar data, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles help experts to detect and identify objects to be able to begin their disposal. What are the various technologies and their potential applications? How is artificial intelligence be used in this field?
Watch Session 4
Detection & Identification Technologies
Remediation Solutions
Remediation Solutions
In addition to sea mines dumped munitions are repeatedly identified while surveying the sea floor in context of offshore construction work. The neutralisation of munitions is very complex and can be dangerous. Specialized companies and the military always try to recover the munitions. Sometimes however, controlled detonation is the only way. Fortunately, there are various techniques available today to reduce the impact on wildlife like deflagration or bubble curtains. What are the latest innovations that could be used to master large-scale clearance?
Watch Session 5
Economic Opportunities
Dumped munitions and unexploded ordonnances (UXOs) pose a significant threat to the maritime ecosystems and coastal communities. Reality shows that they also hinder the development of maritime infrastructures such as wind turbines, port and lock facilities, tunnels, pipelines, and cable projects already today. Clearing our seas will require large investments, so let’s take a look at the potential economic upside from large-scale clearing.
Watch Session 6
Economic Opportunities
Stakeholder Roles & Responsibilities
Stakeholder Roles & Responsibilities
Different stakeholders are needed to address the pressing problem of dumped munitions in our oceans, a fact that has been recently reiterated by the European Parliament & Council. If we are serious about tackling this problem each stakeholder needs to ask themselves what support they can lend to advance large-scale clearing. That is at the local, state, national and supra-national level. Since our oceans know no boundaries, the importance of international cooperation and thereby international organisations in addressing this issue is obvious.
Watch Session 7
Funding Options
Today, no one disputes that oceans free from dumped munitions and UXOs would be a desirable state which could have far reaching benefits including economically. However, detection and disposal operations, even if automated and improved do incur a considerable cost. Undeterred from this the Baltic Sea Parliamentarian Conference made some valuable recommendation how funding could be organized to begin this process in the Baltic Sea. Also, in the most recent developments the European Union as well as the German government seem to be taking up this idea and are pushing for a solution to the problem. This will be our starting point to enquire how large-scale clearance operations could be sustainably funded in the future.
Watch Session 8
Funding Options
Jan Philipp Albrecht
Minister at Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization
Dr. Aaron J. Beck
Senior Scientist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Prof. Jacek Bełdowski
Head of Laboratory at Institute of Oceanology PAS
Sebastian Blumenthal
CEO at Ocean Metrics GmbH
Norbert Brackmann, MdB
Maritime Coordinator at Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Dr. David Bradley
Program Manager for the Munitions Response Program at SERDP & ESTCP
Dr. Bernd Buchholz
Minister at Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism Schleswig-Holstein
Dr. Fabrizio Costantino
Senior Consultant at ICF International
Nele Dageförde
CEO at TransMarTech S-H GmbH
Grant Dawson
PhD Candidate at University of Groningen, Faculty of Law
Wim De Klerk
Senior Scientist & Senior Business Developer at TNO - Defense Safety and Security
Arjan Driessen
Business Development Manager at REASeuro
Dr. Kendra Dupuy
Senior Advisor, Environment at Norwegian People's Aid
Christos Economou
Deputy Director at DG Mare
Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr
President at Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Cdr Thorsten Grabsch
Staff Officer Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Groups at Allied Maritime Command
Prof. Dr. Jens Greinert
Head of DeepSea Monitoring Group at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre For Ocean Research Kiel
Dieter Guldin
COO at SeaTerra GmbH
Daniel Günther
Minister-President at Land Schleswig-Holstein
Dr. Joachim Harms
Head of Marine and Maritime Research, Geosciences, Shipping (MGS) at Research Center Jülich GmbH, Projekt Management Jülich
Frithjof Hennemann
CEO at TrueOcean GmbH
Burt Kearney
Managing Director at Dynasafe Environmental Systems GmbH
Dr. Thorsten Kiefer
Executive Director at Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans)
Jan Krabbenhöft
Director at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Services Division
Dr. Anita Künitzer
Senior Scientific Advisor at German Environment Agency
Commander Herman Lammers
Director at NATO Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence
Terry Martin
Journalist and TV News Anchor
Prof. Dr. Edmund Maser
Research Director at Institute of Toxicology, University Medical School (UKSH) Kiel
Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes
Director at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Gesine Meißner
Chair of the Natonal Committee for the UN Decade Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
Dr. Peter Menzel
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD at Digital Ocean Lab
Peter Nieuwveld
Solution Owner UXO Innovations at Fugro
Dr. Luis-Alejandro Orellano
COO at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH
Peter Rabenecker
Deputy Head of Department Applied Electrochemistry at Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT
Dr. Michael D. Richardson
Technical Advisor for Munitions Response Program at IDA
Dr. Jörn Scharsack
Department Head at Thünen Institute
Dr. Christina Schmidt-Holtmann
Head of Divison at Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy
Commander Terje Schmitt-Eliassen
Commander 3rd Minesweeper Squadron at German Navy
Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach
Chief German Navy at German Navy
Arne Schwenk
CTO at K.U.M. Umwelt- und Meerestechnik Kiel GmbH
Thierry Segers
Policy Officer at European Commission
Ing. Frank Seubring
Technical Director at Boskalis Hirdes EOD Services GmbH
Jens Sternheim
Senior Advisor at German Programme on Underwater Munitions
Rüdiger Strempel
Executive Secretary at HELCOM
Marius Vaščega
Head of Cabinet at Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius
Dr. Moritz von Rochow
Research and Teaching Assistent at Walther-Schücking-Institut for International Law, Kiel University
Dr. Catherine Warner
Director at NATO STO CMRE
Jann Wendt
CEO at north.io GmbH
Mark Wernicke
Deputy Head at Kampfmittelräumdienst Schleswig-Holstein
Our Message
The sea floor has become the waste dump of vast amounts of munitions, a legacy of wars and other military operations. Worldwide, the largest amount comes from deliberate dumping after the end of World War II. The rest stems from shipwrecks, unexploded ordnance from conflicts and remnants of former military training sites.
Off the German coast alone, an estimated 1.6 million tons of derelict conventional and chemical weapons are rusting away at the bottom of the North-and the Baltic Sea.
Their explosive and chemical content endangers the environment, shipping, marine infrastructure, marine life and human safety at the shore and in the open sea as carcinogenic substances leaking from the dumped munition may enter the human food chain via mussels and fish.
Across the oceans only a fraction of contaminated sites has been charted yet which prevents the understanding and managing the full extent of the problem.
What is clear is the growing problem of rusting munition can only be solved through a transnational and interdisciplinary approach as the oceans do not know any borders.
We therefore ask you to join us share your expertise, get up to date and learn from each other to enable us all to put our knowledge into action across the oceans.
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