African women working in search and rescue (SAR) operations is underway at the
Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rabat, Morocco (13-15 November).
Thirteen officials* from developing countries and Small Island Developing
States took part in the first regional training course of this kind.
The course included a practical
exercise on a rescue boat and provided a platform to discuss how to improve and
enhance the knowledge of African women working in SAR and to provide them with
appropriate tools to manage SAR missions.
IMO, together with
the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and the Government
of Morocco, supported the course, the
latest in a series of events this year which fully support the World
Maritime theme "Empowering
Women in the Maritime Community".
*Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria,
Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Seychelles and South Africa.
Mediterranean countries are
undergoing IMO training on the impacts of anti-fouling systems and ships’
biofouling on the marine environment at a workshop in Valletta, Malta (12-14
November). The event is raising awareness of IMO’s Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and Biofouling Guidelines – what it means to
implement them, and, in the case of the AFS Convention, the requirements and benefits
of ratification and enforcement.
Biofouling is the build-up of
aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures. It can be
responsible for introducing potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to
new environments and can also slow a ship down and impact negatively on its
energy efficiency. Anti-fouling paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to
prevent biofouling. The AFS Convention, which has been in force for more than
ten years, prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints and
establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful
substances in anti-fouling systems.
Fifteen participants from 8
countries* are taking part in the workshop, which included a site visit to a
dry dock. During the visit, participants witnessed practical examples of niche
areas and other exposed underwater parts of the hull of a ship that are
important for biofouling management, including the effective application of
The workshop, co-organized and
hosted by REMPEC, is part of efforts under
the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project, which aims to establish
regional partnerships and cooperation agreements to address marine biofouling
* Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia
Partnerships and innovations are essential to combat climate change through reductions in GHG emissions. Norway has provided an additional NOK 40,000,000 (US$4.3. million) to the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage-2050 project, which will support GHG reductions in line with the IMO initial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. This supports UN SDG 13 on climate action. The project aims to assist countries to implement legal, policy and institutional reforms, build capacity and initiate and promote global efforts to demonstrate and test innovative technical solutions for reducing GHG emissions from shipping. IMO is currently in the process of selecting pioneer pilot countries, new pilot countries, partner countries, industry partners and strategic partners at national, regional and global levels.
The new tranche follows an initial funding of NOK 10,000,000 (US$1.1. million) for the project, provided earlier this year.
Meeting with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to sign the agreement for additional funding (13 November), Mr Sveinung Oftedal, Specialist Director of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, said, "Norway is very pleased to enhance our financial commitments to support IMO's efforts to build capacity and to provide technical assistance to support the IMO initial GHG strategy. We will continue our efforts to further support the GreenVoyage-2050 project, considering the importance of this project to achieve the goals of the IMO GHG strategy."
IMO is involved a range of partnerships which contribute to sustainable development and reflect UN SDG 17 (partnerships). Other IMO-executed global projects supporting the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping include the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA), under the auspices of the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP Project) the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Network (GMN) project, funded by the European Union and implemented by IMO.
Biofouling is the build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship's underwater hull and structures. It can be responsible for introducing potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to new environments and can also slow a ship down and impact negatively on its energy efficiency.
A two-day workshop was held in Aqaba, Jordan (11 to 12 November) to raise awareness of the problem and the impact it is having along the Jordanian coastline. Participants discussed a wide range of topics including biofouling as a pathway for non-indigenous species and approaches on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species through ships' hulls.
Amongst the participants were representatives of various maritime sectors, including marina ports and civil society organizations, including the Arab Women In Maritime Association (AWIMA).
Participants agreed on the establishment of a National Task Force as well as the creation of a communication platform for all its members, which will be key in defining a national policy on biofouling and invasive species. They agreed to draft a national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines.
The next step for the GloFouling Partnerships in Jordan will be to develop national baseline reports to assess the current situation regarding non-indigenous species and biofouling management practices.
The workshop was co-organized and hosted by the Jordan Maritime Commission. It is part of efforts under the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project, which aims to establish regional partnerships and cooperation agreements to address marine biofouling issues.
Streamlining the many administrative procedures necessary when ships enter or leave port is an important element of IMO's work. And now, an important tool used by software developers to create systems for exchanging the relevant data electronically has been made available by the Organization online and free of charge.
The IMO Compendium is a reference manual containing data sets and the structure and relationships between them, that will enable the IMO Member States to fulfil a mandatory obligation (in place since April 2019) for the reporting formalities for ships, cargo and people on board international shipping to be carried out electronically and in a harmonised way.
Overall this helps make cross-border trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient, for the more than 10 billion tons of goods which are traded by sea annually across the globe.
IMO is not the only organization dealing with electronic data exchange in maritime transport. But others, notably the World Customs Organization, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Standards Organization, have aligned their own data structures with the IMO Compendium to promote harmonization.
Click here to access the new, free IMO Compendium online.
intelligence and high skills to all fields of the shipping industry – let’s
throw off the bowlines!”. This is the message from Port Captain Basak, one of
the latest maritime women being featured by IMO under this year’s World
Maritime theme: “Empowering
women in the Maritime Community”.
across the globe are giving an insight into their work, aspirations, how IMO’s Women
in Maritime Programme has supported them – and their top tips for current
and aspiring female maritime professionals.
profiles include a Port Infrastructure Technician from El Salvador, a Student
Support Officer from the Seychelles, and a Ghanaian Senior Marketing and
Corporate Affairs Officer – Ms Flavia Amoasi.
praised the Women in Port Management Course that she took part in, with
sponsorship from IMO, in Le Havre France, saying that it “afforded me the
opportunity to share my experiences and learn from best practices in port
profiles can be viewed and downloaded here.
IMO encourages all those involved and interested in the maritime community to
share these stories, to increase visibility of the role that women play in a
sector that is so essential to the world.
With important maritime traffic and offshore oil and gas exploration and production off the coast of South Africa, there is increased risk of an oil spill occurring, which poses a threat to the marine environment and wildlife.
Improving the efficiency, effectiveness and management of emergency response operations for both governments and industry alike is a key element in minimizing environmental and socio-economic impacts of oil spills.
To address this, a two-day Incident Management System Training Course was held in South Africa (6-7 November) to help participants test their National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and deepen their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders and entities in preparing for and responding to oil spills.
More than 60 South African delegates from governmental and industry bodies attended the event which was hosted by the Ministry of Transport and and its agency, the South African Maritime Safety Agency (SAMSA), in cooperation with the Ministry of environment, forests and fisheries under the operation Phakisa.
This IMO activity was carried out within the framework of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF), a partnership between IMO and IPIECA, with the goal to enhance the capacity of GI WACAF countries to prepare for and respond to marine oil spills.
For 13 years, the Project has been supporting its partner countries, helping to build the skills necessary to support their development.
Cooperation and capacity-building are two key ways in which IMO and the wider global community are seeking to support countries to reduce the number of incidents. IMO attended the annual plenary meeting of the countries and organizations members of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ FoGG) in in Accra, Ghana (5-6 November) on invitation of the Franco-Ghana co-chair and with the support of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
During this meeting, participants took stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Code of Conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in West and Central Africa (the Yaoundé Code of Conduct) which was signed in 2013. They also promoted cooperation amongst all stakeholders and heard updates from five virtual working groups which were established in July to focus on legal issues; financial aspects; maritime domain awareness; training; and blue economy.
The G7++ FoGG group is open to all interested Member States, NGOs and IGOs.
IMO also attended the annual Gulf of Guinea Chiefs of Naval Staff Symposium (7 November) held under the auspices of the Ghanaian Navy. Participants saw cooperation in action, on board the French Navy Ship Somme, which was participating in Exercise Grand African Nemo. The French Navy-led exercise bought together 19 Gulf of Guinea countries, eight European countries and involved five assets, with 30 exercises covering how to deal with various maritime crimes and incidents at sea.
Designating an IMO Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) is a recognition that the identified area may be vulnerable to potential impacts of international shipping. In a PSSA, associated protective measures can be proposed and adopted, such as ship routeing systems, for example, areas to be avoided by ships or no-anchoring areas. But first, the area needs to be identified. A sub-regional workshop in Nosy-Be, Madagascar (5 -7 November) is helping participants from Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania, to identify potential marine areas that could be designated as PSSAs.
Marine areas may be designated a PSSA if they fulfil a number of criteria, including: ecological criteria, such as unique or rare ecosystem, diversity of the ecosystem or vulnerability to degradation by natural events or human activities; social, cultural and economic criteria, such as significance of the area for recreation or tourism; and scientific and educational criteria, such as biological research or historical value.
The workshop is focusing on enhancing awareness about PSSAs; identifying the current status of protected areas and maritime shipping activities within the region, in particular the Mozambique Channel, and discussing and agreeing on areas which might be considered PSSA candidates. The workshop is facilitated by the Agence Portuaire Maritime et Fluviale from Madagascar, in collaboration with IMO.
IMO's work on PSSAs fully supports the achievement of the UN SDG 14 on the oceans. To date, 17 PSSAs have been designated (including two extensions).
maritime leaders from more than 70 countries graduated this week (3 November)
from IMO’s World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden.
was founded in 1983 by IMO as a centre of excellence for maritime postgraduate
education, research, and capacity building. It offers unique postgraduate
educational programmes, undertakes wide-ranging research in maritime and
ocean-related studies and helps build maritime capacity in line with the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Quality education is itself one of
the SDGs – SDG 4.
graduating class of 2019 comprises 250 Graduates from 79 countries,
approximately a third of whom are women. There were 131 MSc graduates from the
Malmö headquarters, 42 graduates from the China programme, three PhD graduates
and 74 graduates from the various distance learning programmes. The class of
2019 brings the total number of WMU graduates to 5,167 from 170 countries.
Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Kitack Lim is the first WMU graduate to
hold these positions. At the graduation ceremony, he highlighted the profound
impact WMU had on his life and noted the responsibility the graduates now have
as they return to their home countries. He said “I urge every one of you to
assume ownership and shoulder your part of the responsibility of moving the
world forward in a sustainable manner and leaving no one behind. You are now in
the enviable position of having the knowledge and the power to turn ideas into
reality. This will improve our lives, benefit our countries, our regions, and
a full report and photographs of the ceremony, click here.
we want shipping to increase, but emissions to peak at the same time, then
ships must become much, much more efficient than they are today.” Opening a
regional workshop organized by the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre
(MTCC) Africa, hosted by the Seychelles, Alan Renaud, Principal Secretary for
Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Seychelles, set the scene. “It will require
innovation, new ways of thinking, new technologies,” Mr. Renaud said.
MTCC is part of the Global MTCC Network (GMN) Project, implemented by IMO and funded by the European
Union. The 2nd regional workshop (28 october-1 November) provided an
opportunity for updates on the project in the region, including ongoing pilot
projects, such as data collection relating to energy efficiency of ships and
Representatives from 26 countries agreed a number of
important recommendations for future work, including incorporating a concept of
“green ports” into the work of MTCC Africa. Recognizing the need to support UN
SDG 5 on gender equality, the workshop agreed to encourage states to involve women in the implementation of
initiated pilot projects, to reach at least 40% female participation in each
pilot project of the MTCC-Africa and in capacity building programmes.
Maritime Technology Coorporation Centre for Africa (MTCC Africa) is hosted
by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Mombasa
CBD Campus, in partnership with Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and Kenya Ports
most important ship safety treaty – SOLAS – provides for safe merchant
shipping, covering a wide variety of topics, from ship construction to fire
protection, to life-saving appliances and cargo carriage. SOLAS generally
applies only to ships above a certain size which make international voyages, but
IMO’s efforts to improve ship safety go further – extending to so-called
“non-SOLAS” vessels. These include fishing vessels, domestic ferries, private
yachts and small cargo vessels under 500 gross tonnage.
help enhance safety of such vessels in Central and South America, IMO organized
a regional training course on non-SOLAS ship inspections, held in San Salvador,
El Salvador (28 October – 1 November). Participants from six countries*
received training on how to unify national criteria on maritime safety,
maritime security and pollution prevention.
course was organized in collaboration with Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA),
implemented by IMO’s Regional partner The Central American Commission of
Maritime Transport (COCATRAM) and hosted by El Salvador.
* Costa Rica, Dominican
Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Maritime and port security officials
from Qatar and Oman have undergone IMO training at a workshop in Doha, Qatar
(27-31 October). The focus of the training was on
enhancing maritime security by conducting effective self-assessments and
audits, in line with the applicable provisions of IMO's International Ship and
Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and relevant IMO guidance.
This includes Guidance on Voluntary
Self‐Assessment by SOLAS Contracting Government and by port facilities
(MSC.1/Circ.1192), designed to aid IMO Member States in conducting internal
audits and to verify that port facility security plans and associated measures
are implemented effectively.
The participants* taking part in the training were
primarily officials from the Designated
Authority (DA), Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and managers, and
representatives from across government departments involved in maritime
The workshop included a visit to the
Port of Hamad, organized by IMO and the Government of Qatar. IMO also visited a
training centre for coast and border security, where future technical
cooperation between IMO and the centre was discussed.
* Forty-four participants from Qatar,
two from Oman, including Ministry of communications and Transport, Ministry of
interior, Customs, Navy and several other port operators.
A national maritime security strategy can help bring together all agencies and government departments and stakeholders with an interest in maritime security, to ensure that the country is ready to address all potential maritime security threats. A regional maritime security workshop (30-31 October) in the Caribbean brought together senior government officials from seven countries * in the eastern Caribbean to kickstart a programme which should see all seven develop their own national maritime security strategies. The intention is to develop, in addition, an overarching Eastern Caribbean regional maritime security strategy, under the auspices of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Regional Security System (RSS) - a regional security grouping representing, and with staff drawn from, the seven countries.
IMO supported the regional workshop, which included sessions explaining how safeguarding the maritime domain and the blue economy of the Eastern Caribbean is critical to the region's stability and economic prosperity. A key message was that development and security go "hand-in-hand", since there can be no sustainable development without security, sustainability and peace in the region.
IMO will be working with OAS and the RSS to facilitate further workshops, in 2020, including on risk assessment methodology. IMO will also assist countries in the region and the RSS in identifying and exploiting opportunities to raise the level of maritime security across the region.
* Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Major oil spills today are rare and oil tanker accidents have reduced. But coastal nations need to be prepared in case of emergency. In order to supplement national capacity, bi-lateral, multi-lateral and international cooperation and assistance in spill preparedness and response is crucial. This was highlighted during the eighth Regional Conference of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF), in Cape Town, South Africa (28-31 October).
The GI WACAF project is a collaboration between IMO and IPIECA to strengthen oil spill response capacity in west, central and southern Africa. It helps to support mutual cooperation and assist countries to develop capacity for oil spill response. The region covered includes important oil producing States, such as Angola and Nigeria, and is also vulnerable to significant volumes of maritime traffic.
The conference heard that during the past two years, some 16 national and sub-regional activities, have been implemented, covering many different aspects of oil spill preparedness and response. They included a transboundary oil spill response exercise involving Angola and Namibia in August 2019. Engagement and collaboration with other entities involved in oil spill preparedness has been a hallmark, to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach. Many delegates were keen to explore the possibility of undertaking further spill response exercises with neighbouring countries to try to better understand and address the challenges likely to arise during an actual incident.
Delegates also agreed on the need to push forward with the effective implementation into national legislation, in all countries in the region, of relevant IMO conventions relating to oil spill preparedness and response, such as the International Convention on oil pollution preparedness, response and cooperation (OPRC), as well as those relating to liability and compensation from pollution damage, including the treaty covering liability and compensation from pollution damage from fuel oil (Bunkers Convention).
The GI WACAF project has been running for 13 years and has encouraged the development of a network of focal points and experts on spill response and preparedness matters in the region.
The Conference was organized by IMO and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social performance, in close collaboration with the Government of the Republic of South Africa, particularly the Department of Transport and its agency, the South African Maritime Safety Agency (SAMSA). It brought together key government and industry representatives from the 22 African partner countries of the GI WACAF project: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Marine biodiversity is under threat from invasive aquatic species, but
IMO is leading a major global project to combat that threat and find solutions
to this major problem. And that project has just passed two major milestones as
two more countries, Indonesia and Mexico, have formed their national task force
to take part in the initiative.
The project, GloFouling Partnerships, is a joint initiative between
the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and IMO. It will help developing countries to tackle invasive aquatic
species transferred through so-called biofouling – on ships’ hulls and on other
IMO led workshops in both Indonesia and Mexico during October to
discuss technical aspects of the problem and the countries’ own institutional
arrangements for engaging with GloFouling. The workshops brought together the
several different stakeholders that would participate in the national task forces.
As well as national maritime and environmental authorities, the task forces
will include industry representatives, universities, academics and research
institutions. The workshops included overviews of the threats posed by invasive
species and biofouling and looked at existing regulatory frameworks and the
essential elements for developing national policies.
The GloFouling Partnerships project has 12 Lead Partnering Countries.
Indonesia and Mexico have joined Fiji, Tonga, Brazil, Madagascar,
Mauritius and Philippines as those which have already established their
national task forces. Jordan, Sri Lanka, Peru and Ecuador will join in the
The next step for GloFouling Partnerships in Mexico and Indonesia will
be to develop national baseline reports to assess the current situation with
regard to non-indigenous species. Currently-available research on the subject
will be identified and the economic impacts determined, leading to informed
Placing maritime activity at the
heart of national development plans in Africa will help deliver the Sustainable
Development Goals, which is a key
strategic direction for IMO. A recent IMO training activity in Nairobi, Kenya
is helping to do just that.
With 38 of 54 African countries being coastal States – and
more than 90% of Africa’s imports and exports being transported by sea,
Africa’s future depends on healthy oceans and a sustainable Blue Economy. This
inclusive, clean and green approach to harnessing maritime resources is central
to a new training course being developed in Kenya with support from IMO.
A pilot session on the ‘Strategic
Maritime Security and Blue Economy Course’ for senior Kenyan government
officials is taking place (28 October – 1 November) at the International Peace
Support Training Centre. The
course includes an IMO-run module dealing with Blue Economy policy development,
through which participants are learning to explain the current state, dynamics
and role of policy decision makers in developing and implementing Blue Economy
During the week, participants were challenged to answer a
number of key questions. Is the biggest challenge the failure to appreciate
the value of the maritime sector? Is it fair to say that many African countries
do not have a strong maritime culture? If so, how do we change that?
The module places a focus on the need for all government
agencies, military and civilian, to support a national and regional effort
rather than operate departmentally. Participants are also asked to consider the
current and potential role of women in the maritime community, with IMO’s Women
in Maritime Programme slogan: “training, visibility, recognition”
It is envisaged that once completed, the course will be
rolled out to wider audiences across the continent.
satellite radiocommunications are essential for routine communications and
navigation and for ensuring the effective operation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), to protect lives at sea. IMO is at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, (28 October - 22 November) with the message that the integrity of maritime radiocommunication services needs to be protected.
The use of radio spectrum allocated to existing (and future) maritime radiocommunication services must be safeguarded.
An important item on the WRC-19 agenda is to support the introduction of the Iridium satellite system in the GMDSS, by taking regulatory measures by 1 January 2020, to ensure full protection and availability of the frequency bands to be used by Iridium for the provision of GMDSS services.
Other important items, among others, are the regulation of autonomous maritime radio devices, and modifications of the Radio Regulations to include new spectrum allocations to the maritime mobile satellite service to enable a new VHF data exchange system (VDES) satellite component.
Read more about Maritime communications - safeguarding the spectrum for maritime services in an article by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in the ITU News magazine (p.68).
Pollution response can be faster and more effective when there is an established emergency communications and emergency system. Mediterranean Countries recently met at a regional workshop held in Brussels, Belgium (22-23 October), to explore the set-up of a common emergency communication system for marine pollution incidents that connects the entire Mediterranean region. During the event, representatives from 12 Mediterranean countries* received training in the European Union's Common Emergency Communication and Information System for Marine Pollution from ships and off-shore units (CECIS).
The participants, responsible in their countries for preparedness for and response to accidental marine pollution, also explored how CECIS, which currently covers EU Member States, could be further developed as a regional emergency communication tool connecting all Mediterranean countries.
They agreed that a proposal should be prepared by the Western Mediterranean Region Marine Oil and HNS Pollution Cooperation (West MOPoCo) Project. The proposal will be submitted to the 2021 Focal Points Meeting of the IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).
The workshop was organised by REMPEC in collaboration with the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission (DG ECHO).
* Albania, Algeria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, France, Israel, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.
Beating climate change and achieving the targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda are the two defining challenges of our time, according to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who warned against rising unilateralism. "In times of increasing discord, I believe that achieving the UN SDGS and meeting the Paris Climate Change Agreement are two efforts that should unite all nations, all industry and all civil society," Mr. Ban said, addressing an audience of representatives of IMO Member States, NGOs and IMO staff at IMO Headquarters in London (28 October).
Mr. Ban lauded IMO's work on climate change, including the adoption of the initial IMO GHG strategy, as well as the Organization's work, including capacity building, to promote a safer, more secure and more environment-friendly shipping industry. "Taking stock of the current realities of global development and climate change, I believe IMO and shipping industry are well positioned to help navigate us toward safer harbours," Mr. Ban said.
IMO's focus on empowering women through its 2019 World Maritime theme and ongoing gender programme was singled out for praise by Mr. Ban, who himself established UN Women to champion gender equality during his time as UN Secretary-General. Companies with women on their boards do better, he reminded the audience – while women and children are disproportionately affected by the impacts of poverty, climate change and conflict.
IMO's commitment to supporting the ocean goal, SDG 14, including its work to address marine plastic litter, was also highlighted. Shipping itself is vital to world trade and development – and the achievement of many SDGS. With 11 years to go to fulfil the goals set out in all 17 SDGS, "we need an all hands on deck approach where everyone joins together in multi stakeholder partnership," Mr. Ban said. "Considering the great importance of the shipping industry for our economies and the environment, IMO truly represents the vanguard of global efforts to build a more prosperous and sustainable global future."
Click for photos.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing refers to fishing which is carried out without proper authorization. This can undermine national, regional and global efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks and result in poor safety and working conditions for fishers. Tackling the issue requires collaboration by all stakeholders. A Joint Working Group of three UN agencies – the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) - met in Torremolinos, Spain, to address IUU fishing (23-25 October).
The group recommended the three organizations promote and support the development of ways to increase coordination and information sharing for inspection procedures at national level. Capacity building efforts were highlighted, with a recommendation to share information and experience for a potential integrated capacity-building and technical cooperation programme on IUU fishing and on promotion of relevant international instruments, in particular, among training institutions such as the World Maritime University, the World Fisheries University, the IMO International Maritime Law Institute and the ILO International Training Centre.
The 4th FAO/ILO/IMO Joint Working Group meeting on IUU Fishing and other related matters met in Torremolinos, Spain, with representatives from States and other organizations, including IGOs and NGOs. Recommendations will be submitted to relevant bodies of FAO, ILO and IMO. Read full summary here.
The JWG met following the Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing (21-23 October). The conference, organized by IMO and the Government of Spain, promoted ratification of the Cape Town Agreement, the key IMO treaty for safety of fishing vessels. Entry into force of the Cape Town Agreement is expected to contribute to the fight against IUU fishing by providing a global mandatory regime for fishing vessel safety. Read more here.
IMO-World Meteorological Organization symposium on extreme maritime weather has
highlighted the need for the gap to be closed between met-ocean (meteorology
and oceanography) information providers and the users of this information in
the maritime industry.
first ‘Symposium on Extreme Maritime Weather: Towards Safety of Life at Sea
and a Sustainable Blue Economy’, held at IMO Headquarters, London (23-25
October) brought together over 200 stakeholders from across the shipping
sector. These included participants from freight, passenger ferries, cruise
liners, the offshore industry, ports and harbours, coast guards, insurance
providers and the met-ocean community.
examples of extreme maritime weather and a wide variety of related issues were
discussed. These included insurance, investigation and indemnity, ocean
forecasting to improve decision making by maritime sectors, digital delivery of
maritime safety information, decision support in polar regions from short to
longer term seasonal time scales, voyage route optimization, decision support
for the offshore industry, and search and rescue.
out more about the event, here.
Click for photos.
Spain and IMO have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding on technical cooperation activities to support capacity-building activities
in English and Spanish-speaking countries. These activities will support
implementation of IMO regulations, raise awareness of IMO's
mandate and contribute to sustainable maritime transport and the implementation
of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The MoU covers a wide range of
technical cooperation areas, including: search and rescue; maritime training
and the human element; passenger ship safety; maritime communications and
navigation; fishing vessel safety; port reception facilities; casualty
investigation; air pollution reduction; oil and chemical pollution response;
maritime legislation; maritime single window; liability and compensation
regime.; flag, port and coastal State jurisdiction; framework and Procedures
for the IMO Member State Audit Scheme; and national maritime transport
MoU was signed by Mr. Benito Nuñez Quintanilla, the Director-General for
Merchant Marine, and IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, during the Torremolinos
Ministerial Conference on Safety of Fishing Vessels and Illegal, Unregulated
and Unreported Fishing (21-23 October). The MoU replaces and updates a previous
one signed in 2009.
Port reception facilities are a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to implementing IMO's MARPOL convention for the prevention of pollution from ships. A regional workshop in Lima, Peru, (21-23 October) has put the focus on port reception facilities in Latin America. Participants from 16 countries * learned the best way to effectively implement MARPOL Annex V on prevention of pollution from ships by garbage and gained knowledge of best practice in port reception facilities.
The Regional workshop on Port Reception Facilities was organized by IMO and the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coastguards of the Republic of Peru (DICAPI), with the collaboration of Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA) and the General Directorate for Maritime Terrritory and Merchant Marine of Chile (DIRECTEMAR) and was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Transport of Malaysia.
*Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Women play a significant role in
the fishing supply chain, processing, smoking, and ensuring fish reaches
markets and tables. Yet their contribution is often overlooked. “Women play key roles in
fisheries around the world. To ignore those roles is to see only half the
picture,” said IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu, during a side event on Women in Fisheries
at the Torremolinos Ministerial Conference on safety of fishing vessels in
Torremolinos, Spain (21-23 October). “Available data does not capture the
multidimensional nature of the work undertaken by women in fisheries and few
policies are developed with women in mind,” Mr. Shiundu said. To address the lack of visibility of women in fisheries,
IMO has undertaken an online raising-awareness initiative under the hashtag #WomenInFisheries
including an online photowall.
at the event highlighted good examples of work being done to support women in
fisheries, including organization into networks and associations to give them a
stronger voice as well as training. The Hon Emma Metieh Glassco, Director
General, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, Liberia, highlighted
practical steps to increase visibility of women in fisheries, including
organizing fishmongers’ associations and practical training on salting of fish
and using improved smoking ovens (a project supported by Iceland).
Cherie Morris, representative of the Women in Fisheries Network, Fiji, said the
network was working to give women in fisheries a voice at community level. The
network has also secured funding to collect data. The importance of, and the
need for, data was echoed by several speakers, including Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry,
President, World Maritime University (WMU). “We need to produce data and
research on fishing - on fishers and the role that they play and from there
look at how we can lift them from poverty,” Dr. Doumbia-Henry said. Current
estimates suggest that about 40 million are engaged in fishing, with only 15%
being women. Further research and data collection are necessary to set a
benchmark or baseline of the current situation. But women play an important
role in small scale fisheries in developing countries, often making up the
majority of the people involved. Speakers also emphasized the need to combat
illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. This has to include a bottom up
approach, including and involving the women at the shore side part of the fisheries
supply chain. Further work is needed, to build partnerships, to achieve greater
inter-agency collaboration between IMO-FAO-ILO to improve visibility and
recognition of women in the fisheries sector and to support the organization of
women in fisheries into networks.
speaking at the event were: Jane Njeri Grytten, General Manager, Pweza Fishing
Operations Management Ltd, Kenya; Maria del Mar Saez Torres of the Spanish
Network of Women in the Fisheries Sector (REMSP); Alicia Mosteiro Cabanelas,
Fisheries Officer, FAO (Moderator); Christine Bader, ILO; and Helen Buni, IMO
The event was organized by IMO and the Government of Spain and sponsored by The Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China.