IMO is continuing its ongoing efforts to ensure women can reach top ranks in the maritime sector, through its Women in Maritime programme. The latest event was a two-week training course for female officials from maritime and port authorities of developing countries, in Le Havre, France (11-22 June). At the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER), 23 female officials from 14 developing countries* had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of port management and operational efficiency. They also took part in lectures on a variety of port matters including management, security, marine environment, marketing, tariffs and logistics as well as facilitation of maritime traffic, ship/port interface and concession contracts.
Delivered in French, organized visits to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, enabled participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.
The event was delivered through IMO's gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO's continuous efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Demand for this course has continued to grow substantially over the past three years, however further funding will need to be secured to keep up with the increased demand.
* Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia.
Overcrowding is dangerous. Listen to crew. Follow instructions. It could save your life. These simple but key messages to ferry passengers are included in a new one-minute animated IMO safety video, to be shown in ferry terminals across the Asia and Pacific region and on national TV channels. The video was commissioned following a series of IMO-sponsored regional discussion forums on ferry safety held in the Asia and Pacific region. Overloading and overcrowding were highlighted as common and potentially deadly problems for passenger ships plying inland waterways or on domestic and inter-island services.
Domestic ferry operations play a crucial role in the movement of people and goods in the region and sometimes represent the only possible or reasonably affordable means of transport. "Safety standards on domestic passenger ferries should be as stringent as those on international vessels," said Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division.
"We hope that this video will help raise awareness amongst passengers, crew and ferry operators. This should contribute to safer sea journeys for everyone."
The video is being provided free-of-charge to national maritime authorities across the Asia and Pacific region. It can also be viewed here.
IMO, in collaboration with partners including the international ferry industry association, Interferry, has been working with countries and partners in the Asia-Pacific region for a number of years to address the safety of domestic ferries, through regional fora and workshops. A set of guidelines (Manila Statement) on the safe operation of coastal and inter-island passenger ships not engaged on international voyages was adopted in 2015, by an international Conference, held in the Philippines and organized by IMO in collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), Interferry, and the World Maritime University.
Regulations for passenger ship safety in IMO's International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) do not generally apply to passenger ships on domestic voyages, but many countries base their regulations on the IMO standards.
implement the Aktau Protocol on regional preparedness, response and cooperation in
combating oil pollution incidents was the subject of a workshop in Baku,
Azerbaijan this week (18-20 June).
brought together the five littoral states* of the Caspian Sea to test the
Caspian Sea Plan concerning regional cooperation in dealing with oil pollution
in cases of emergency, and guidelines on future regional oil spill exercises
Discussions were held on integrating international assistance offers into the
national preparedness and response system. Participants also discussed
the synergies and potential areas of collaboration with other
regional agreements on disaster management in the Caspian.
The event was
organised by IMO and UN Environment’s Tehran Convention Interim Secretariat.
* Azerbaijan, Islamic
Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.
rise in transport by sea of chemicals and gases, in bulk and containerized,
adequate preparedness for response to potential spill incidents involving
hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) is increasingly important.
Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is hosting a regional workshop on
response to such incidents, in Valletta, Malta (20-21 June). Regional
cooperation on oil and HNS spill response and contingency planning is an
efficient and cost-effective way of preparing for possible spills – through the
sharing of information, knowledge and/or response equipment. A recent example
of cooperation in this field was an agreement
signed between Cyprus, Greece and Israel following support from REMPEC.
Hoenders provided an overview of IMO’s recent achievements in marine
environment protection, as well the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness,
Response and Co-operation (OPRC),
which has 112 contracting States. He also emphasised the importance of
ratifying the OPRC-HNS Protocol – which so far has only 39 Parties.
agencies and organizations are represented at the workshop, including the
European Commission, EMSA, the HELCOM and Bonn Agreement Secretariats as well
as ITOPF, IOPC Funds, CEDRE, CETMAR and Transport Canada.
The build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures is known as biofouling. This can introduce potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to a new area. Fouling can also slow down a ship and impact on its energy efficiency. An IMO regional workshop in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (20-22 June) aims to provide participants with a greater understanding of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the anti-fouling systems (AFS) convention and implementing biofouling guidelines. The AFS convention regulates anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts from their use and from the biocides they may contain. The biofouling guidelines focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
The workshop, attended by some 45 participants from 13 countries*, is funded through IMO’s technical cooperation fund and is being led by IMO’s Theofanis Karayannis and Megan Jensen. The workshop is a good example of IMO’s role in supporting the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on the oceans, and in helping to address biodiversity loss, through its shipping regulations and recommendations.
* Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago
Ship noise has been shown to be the main contributor to underwater noise on a global scale, with recognized negative impacts on marine life. Scientists and researchers from international organizations, States and expert groups have been sharing the latest information on ocean noise, including its detrimental impact on species such as whales and dolphins, at the informal annual meeting on oceans and the law of the sea, at United Nations headquarters, New York, United States (18-22 June). The theme for this year’s meeting is "Anthropogenic underwater noise". IMO’s Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag outlined IMO’s work to date on ship noise. Mr. Micallef noted that IMO had adopted a mandatory code to reduce noise on ships as well as voluntary guidelines aimed at reducing underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life. Other measures, such as ship routeing measures in designated Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, can help reduce local ship noise. Noise has also been discussed in the context of the work of the London Convention and Protocol on the protection of the marine environment from pollution from dumping of wastes and other matter. IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee is encouraging Member States to continue to share experience and understanding of ship noise and its impacts on marine life and to put forward possible mitigation measures.
Mr Micallef and Mr Haag are representing IMO at the 19th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19).
can ports cut emissions to ensure cleaner air and contribute to the battle
against climate change? An IMO training course is supporting countries to help
find the answers, which include the need to first quantify emissions and then
identify measures to reduce port-related emissions in a cost-effective way.
officials in Morocco are the latest to undergo the training, at a workshop in
Casablanca (19-21 June). The event is being held under the IMO-run GloMEEP Project on energy-efficiency and the
International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
than 20 participants will be better equipped to quantify emissions in ports
through development of port emissions assessments (both ocean and land-based,
including emissions from cargo handling equipment, trucks, rail etc.) and
benefit from guidance on how to develop strategies for reducing emissions in
event is being hosted by the Merchant Marine Directorate and the National Ports
Agency (ANP), and held at ANP’s Port Training Institute. The workshop included
a visit to the largest port crane simulator in the world, a 270-degree dome-based
system that enables crane operators to learn how to safely and effectively
operate heavy port equipment.
workshop is being run by IMO’s Astrid Dispert and a team of IMO consultants
from the Port of Los Angeles and the Starcrest Consultancy Group.
The challenges posed by
maritime crime are bringing about discussions on legal issues involving the
interpretation and implementation of maritime law. As a result, a workshop has
taken place in Sri Lanka, Colombo (18-20 June) where
maritime law experts and practitioners from around the world met to participate
in two main sessions aimed at gathering State practice and interpretation
information related to international legal instruments.
The first session
looked at Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic
in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (The Vienna Convention)
and the treatment of Stateless Vessels. The outcomes of that session will feed
into a report on State practice and lead a revision of the UNODC ‘Practical
Guide for Competent National Authorities under Article 17’.
session saw experts review thematic chapters which will form part of the Second
Edition of the UNODC ‘Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice
cover a full range of maritime crime issues such as: human rights at sea,
hostage taking at sea, terrorism at sea, trafficking of persons and smuggling
of migrants at sea and maritime fuel theft, special annexes to the Manual will
include privately contracted armed security personnel at sea and floating
The event was
organized by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as part of
their Global Maritime Crime Programme.
Gisela Vieira from IMO’s maritime security team attended the event as part of the Organization's on-going work to help combat
maritime crime and develop robust legal structures.
IMO’s comprehensive technical cooperation programme supports Member States to implement IMO treaties effectively. This is one way in which IMO supports the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Technical Cooperation Committee, which is meeting for its 68th session (18-20 June), will be updated on key IMO capacity-building programmes, including the women in maritime programme and assistance to Member States to develop National Maritime Transport Policies. The question of resource mobilization will also be addressed. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the 68th session, which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). (Photos)
While exact figures are hard to come by, preliminary, conservative estimates of fatalities in fishing are now over 32 000 people annually. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that the number of fishers injured or suffering from work-related illnesses are much higher. Fatalities and accidents have major impacts on fishers' families, fishing crews and fishing communities. These stark figures provided the background to talks at the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference (iFish5) (10–13 June), in St. John’s, Canada.
IMO’s Sandra Allnutt outlined IMO’s work to address fishing vessel safety. She emphasised the need for more countries to ratify the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. The Cape Town Agreement includes mandatory international requirements for stability, construction and associated seaworthiness of fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over, as well as requirements for life-saving appliances, communications equipment and fire protection.
Ms Allnutt also outlined guidance and recommendatory measures developed by IMO in cooperation with FAO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), including the Code of Safety for Fishermen and Fishing Vessels, 2005 (part A for all fishing vessels, Part B for those 24 m in length and over); Voluntary Guidelines, 2005, (fishing vessels 12 m in length and over, but less than 24 m); and Safety Recommendations (for fishing vessels less than 12 m in length).
The conference was told that the approximately 1.6 million seafarers in the world merchant vessel fleet have much better protection from mandatory international safety and health conventions and agreements than the approximately 40 million fishers world-wide.
More than 160 fisheries sector health and safety professionals and researchers from 26 countries as well as international organizations attended the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference. It was co-organized by the Memorial University, Canada; the United Nations; the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); and the FAO.
Global trade by sea is dependent on the interconnection between ships, ports and people - and everyone needs to be involved, from port operators, to regulators, to maritime security experts and innovators in technology. The theme of mutual cooperation and collaboration was highlighted throughout a special event on ports, held at IMO Headquarters (11 June). The Special Port Event was supported by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
Across four sessions, 18 panellists shared their views on port related issues such as automation and digitalisation, including Port Community Systems and the maritime single window; ways to improve facilitation; best practices to improve coordination at ports; improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports; and the challenges of dealing with larger ships.
The importance of port security - as a key element to support facilitation of trade by ship - was also covered. The event was opened by IMO Secretary-General Lim, who said that it was his firm belief that the maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people who operate them, could and should play a significant role in helping Member States to create the conditions necessary for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through the promotion of trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through the development of a sustainable blue economy, at sea.
While stakeholders in the shipping industry may have a tendency to operate in silos, Mr. Lim said that it was his intention to open the Organization up to stakeholders, who might not previously have been much involved in the work of IMO, in order to deal with all maritime aspects in a holistic way. Mr. Santiago Garcia Milà, President of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), also addressed the event. (Presentations can be downloaded here) (Photos here).
A second event focused on port security (12-13 June). The Symposium on port security operations was co-sponsored by the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police (INTERPORTPOLICE) and the IMO Secretariat, focusing on exchange of best practice on port security and law enforcement. An introductory session conducted by IMO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Interpol, outlined resources, tools and capacity-building programmes and how ports can access them. IMO, UNODC and Interpol have been collaborating on joint regional capacity building activities, focusing on maritime security, since the adoption of IMO's maritime security regime in 2002. The three organizations continue to work together to help build capacity to fight illicit maritime activity around the globe. IMO Secretary-General Lim highlighted the role of IMO and partner organizations in helping Governments to develop their national oversight capability for safety and security and to promote the application of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) and the ILO/IMO Code of Practice on security in ports. Mr. Lim also reiterated the need to develop increased collaboration and communication between shipping, ports and other stakeholders. (Photos here).
IMO’s Facilitation (FAL) Committee, meeting for its 42nd session, has approved a completely revised and updated structure for its Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a new standard IMO reference data set, which will be used as basis for automated and digital systems for exchange of information when ships arrive at and depart from ports.
The information data set supports mandatory reporting formalities for ships, cargo and persons on board and can also be extended to support commercial businesses in international shipping.
The Compendium is being completely updated in order to enable the implementation of the revised Annex to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which entered into force this year and requires electronic data exchange to be implemented by all FAL Convention Parties, by April 2019.
Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/CEFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). The working group also includes members from India, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, New Zealand, the IMO Secretariat, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), BIMCO and the International Port Community System Association (IPCSA).
The revised and updated Compendium is expected to be completed over the next six months so that it can be approved by the next Facilitation Committee session, FAL 43, in April 2019. (Read more on the outcome of FAL 42 here.)
globally recognized training centre, the IMO International Maritime Law
Institute (IMLI), has held its 29th annual
graduation ceremony at the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, Malta (9 June).
Fifty-one students from 41 countries graduated from programs covering all areas
of international maritime law in a ceremony presided over by IMO Secretary-General
and Chair of the IMLI Governing Board, Kitack Lim, who heralded the Institute
and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.
the ceremony, Secretary-General Lim paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister
of Malta, H.E. Joseph Muscat in Valletta, and expressed his appreciation to the
Prime Minister and the Government of Malta for its continued support to IMLI.
In his response, the Prime Minister said that Malta was honoured to host IMLI
which, as one of the cornerstones of IMO’s capacity-building work, has trained
over 900 lawyers from 142 countries, some of whom were holding high-level
positions in their countries.
Minister was accompanied by H.E. Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
with the Secretary-General being accompanied by Prof. David Attard,
Director of IMLI and Juvenal Shiundu, Acting Director of the IMO Technical
IMO's continuing work to support countries to reduce emissions in ports has seen South Africa benefit from a recently developed port emissions training package. A workshop in Durban, South Africa (6-8 June) trained 40 personnel working in the country's maritime sector on how to assess air emissions in ports and develop strategies to address emissions from different sources.
The training took place under the strategic partnership between the IMO-run GloMEEP project on energy-efficiency and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
South Africa joins India, the Philippines, Jamaica and China in benefiting from the package, with five further countries set to undergo the training this year.
The Durban event was hosted by South Africa's Department of Transport and SAMSA, and delivered by a team of consultants from the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
Seafarers' rights to be treated fairly and enjoy quality of life at sea is the focus this year's Day of the Seafarer campaign, under the theme: Seafarer's wellbeing. "Day of the Seafarer 2018 (25 June) will provide a platform to advocate for higher standards of welfare and enable shipping companies and others within the industry to show how they provide a good working environment for seafarers and thereby make a positive contribution to their wellbeing," said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
This year the campaign includes a short survey aimed at collecting seafarers' feedback on whether they know their rights at sea and whether those rights are being implemented into their operational reality. The collected data will be fed back to IMO Member States creating a direct line of communication between seafarers and governments. So if you are a seafarer, take the survey! And show your support online: #SupportSeafarersWellbeing
IMO has also launched a photo competition, targeted at seafarers, to show the world what a #GoodDayAtSea looks like. We invite all interested seafarers to participate and submit photos here. The competition is being run by IMO together with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). The judging panel will select the entries they feel best capture the spirit of the 2018 Day of the Seafarer campaign and the inspirational role that seafarers play in everyone's every day lives.
For more information on this year's campaign visit the Day of the Seafarer webpage
Drills and exercises to test maritime security knowledge and update skills are under way during a national workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay (5 to 8 June). The National Workshop on International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code) Drills and Exercises has been designed to strengthen the technical capability of Designated Authority officials, port security officials and managers with respect to enhancing maritime security through the process of conducting drills and exercises in accordance with the ISPS Code and the relevant IMO guidance, by using the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Drills and Exercises Manual. The workshop was organized by IMO under the Global programme for the enhancement of maritime security, using funds provided by the Republic of Korea, and in coordination with the National Maritime authority of Uruguay (Prefectura Nacional Naval). The Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS-CICTE) also participated and collaborated with the organization of the event.
Standardization and harmonization are essential in order to achieve efficient shipping and seamless transport, particularly when it comes to electronic data exchange. IMO’s Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (5-8 June) at IMO Headquarters, is set to approve a revised format of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a completely revised and updated standard IMO data model set. Data models define and format information which might be transferred between automated systems, such as for export, import and transit. The revised Compendium will include a completely revised data structure, including digitalization-friendly definitions of all the information elements that a ship is required to report. This will make digitalization and automation of administrative processes in international shipping much easier, paving the way for full implementation of electronic data exchange, as required by the revised Facilitation Convention annex, which entered into force this year.
Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO).
On other matters, the Facilitation Committee will continue its review of the Explanatory Manual to the Annex to the FAL Convention and its review of guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport. The Committee will also be updated on the IMO Maritime Single Window project. The Facilitation Committee 42nd session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Mr. Yury Melenas (Russian Federation). Click for photos.
In order to strengthen the links between ships and ports, IMO is hosting a Special Event on Ports, to be held Monday, 11 June – which will also be livestreamed globally. Some 20 panellists will share their views on port related issues such as the maritime single window, the port community system, ways to improve facilitation, best practices to improve coordination at ports, improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports, including on-shore power supply. The importance of port security will also be covered. This event will be followed, on 12 and 13 June, by a port security focused event organized in cooperation with the International Association of Airport and Sea Port Police.
The Philippines has ratified three IMO treaties, including
two important treaties helping to protect the marine environment – the Ballast
Water Management Convention (BWM)
and the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS
Under the BWM Convention ships are required to manage their
ballast water, which can contain thousands of aquatic or marine microbes,
plants and organisms, which are then carried across the globe. The AFS
convention regulates anti-fouling systems in order to prevent adverse impacts
from the use of anti-fouling systems and the biocides they may contain.
The third treaty ratified is the so-called SOLAS Protocol
88, which covers the harmonized system of survey and certification. It enables
certain required ship surveys to be carried out at the same time, thereby reducing
costs for shipowners and administrations.
H.E. Mr. Antonio M. Lagdameo, Ambassador of the Philippines,
met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit
the instrument of accession (6 June).
The Philippines is one of several South-East Asian countries
being supported through an IMO-Norwegian Agency for Development
Cooperation (Norad) project to ratify and implement key IMO environmental treaties.
A key IMO measure helping shipping secure its environmental sustainability is the forthcoming reduction in the global upper limit of permissible sulphur content in ships' fuel oil. The first of January 2020 has been set as the date for a significant reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships, to 0.50%, from the 3.5% limit.
“This is another landmark decision for both the environment and for human health. It demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO Member States to ensuring shipping meets its environmental obligations,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (31 May) (full speech). Looking ahead to the so-called “Sulphur 2020” limit, Mr. Lim emphasized the important thing now is to ensure consistent implementation of the requirement. IMO is currently developing relevant implementation guidelines which will look at a range of issues. These include the impact on fuel and machinery systems resulting from new fuel blends or fuel types, including the safety aspects, and issues surrounding mechanisms for verification and control.
Mr. Lim also addressed other key recent IMO achievements, including the adoption, in April, by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee of an Initial Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, which has been acclaimed as a development of historic global significance. The event was also addressed by Cyprus’ President, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the
important link between safe ship navigation and sustainability. Speaking at the
International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse
Authorities (IALA) Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea (27 May), Mr. Lim
addressed the theme: 'Successful voyages, Sustainable planet – A New Era for
Marine Aids to Navigation in a Connected World'.
He emphasized that safe shipping is essential to the world –
that by providing improved access to basic materials, goods and products, by
facilitating commerce and by helping create
prosperity among nations and peoples, shipping is helping lift millions of
people out of poverty. Investment and development in transport infrastructure - including includes aids to navigation - are therefore crucial to achieving
sustainable development and empowering communities.
Aids to navigation play a key part in preventing ships'
navigation accidents, in particular in coastal areas.
Mr. Lim addressed the rapid technological development in this field and
the important work being done by IMO, supported by organizations such as IALA,
to cater for this evolution in shipping.
Members of the European Parliament and other stakeholders have been briefed on the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, adopted in April, and the follow-up actions that may be taken to implement the initial strategy including consideration of candidate short term measures. IMO’s Edmund Hughes outlined the key elements of the initial strategy, which sets a clear commitment to a complete phase-out of GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible in this century, a specific linkage to the Paris Agreement and a series of significant levels of ambition including at least a 50% cut in total annual GHG emissions from the sector by 2050 compared to 2008. Mr. Hughes was speaking in Brussels, Belgium (5 June), at a briefing session organised by the European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA). Other speakers include representatives from IMO Member States and the shipping industry.
Namibia has hosted a series of events addressing oil spill preparedness and response, with two back to back workshops in Swakopmund (22-24 May and 28-31 May) developed with a view to improve the national preparedness and response system in the country.
A first workshop was held to provide participants with an overview of the essential skills needed to prepare for and respond to oil spills at an operational level including contingency planning and risk assessment.
The second event focused on shoreline response and clean-up management plan during an oil spill incident. For example, deciding on what strategy to adopt depending on the type of oil spilled, the type of shoreline and the availability of equipment. In addition to table-top exercises, participants took part in a real life simulation of beach clean-up operations.
The workshop was organized under the auspices of the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF) – a joint IMO-IPIECA project. The event brought together representatives from different ministries, public agencies and the private sector involved with the country's national preparation and response system.
IMO's Julien Favier of the GI WACAF project and a team of consultants facilitated the event, which was hosted by the Namibia Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Works and Transport.
Which technologies will best support shipping’s move to a low carbon future? How can first movers be incentivized to take-up emission reduction technologies? How can the effective implementation of “Just-in-Time” operation help ships optimize speed, avoid idle times outside ports and cut emissions? How can financial barriers related to implementation of new technological measures be overcome? These and other questions were on the agenda when leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports in the IMO-supported Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) met for the third meeting of the GIA Taskforce and an Ideas Generation Workshop (29-30 May), in Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom.
The GIA Taskforce meeting progressed work on several on-going projects, including on the validation of performance of Energy Efficiency Technologies (EETs), the assessment of barriers to the uptake of Just-in-Time Operation of ships and resulting emission and fuel saving opportunities from its effective implementation, as well as work on the current status and application of alternative fuels in the maritime sector and barriers to their uptake. The GIA is also developing an E-Learning course on the Energy Efficient Operation of Ships which is expected to be completed and launched later this year.
The GIA, for the first time, held an Ideas Generation Workshop, to brainstorm further ideas and concrete actions the GIA could take to further support the shipping sector in its efforts to reduce emissions. This included discussions on disruptive technologies that can deliver the step-change required for shipping to decarbonize, as well as enabling technologies that have the potential to support shipping transition to zero emissions. The GIA also considered the short-term candidate measures contained in the Initial IMO Strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, and brainstormed concrete ideas on how first movers could be incentivized to develop and take up new technologies.
In a video message to the GIA, Mr Peter Thomson, the United Nations Special Envoy for Oceans, highlighted the importance of partnerships like the GIA in contributing to the solutions required to decarbonize the maritime transport sector, describing these types of alliances as “the right medicine, with the ability to provide great support to IMO in the implementation of the recently adopted Initial GHG Strategy”.
The GIA Taskforce meeting and workshop were hosted by one of the GIA founding members, Ricardo UK Ltd, and attended by representatives of 14 GIA members, UNDP’s Andrew Hudson, and IMO’s Jose Matheickal, Astrid Dispert and Minglee Hoe.
The GIA is an innovative public-private partnership initiative of the IMO, under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project, that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system. The Taskforce re-elected Mr Claes Berglund (Stena AB) as Chair for the GIA’s second membership year.
A national workshop on the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea, the London Protocol, is being held in Luanda, Angola (30-31 May). The workshop is raising awareness among stakeholders on the practical aspects of effective implementation of the London Protocol to protect the marine environment from the dumping of harmful wastes at sea. With more light being shed on the dramatic impact of marine litter on coastal areas, this workshop is yet another example of how IMO is tackling this problem.
Angola ratified the London Protocol in 2006 and this workshop is bringing a special focus on the actions to be taken at the national level to fully implement all its provisions.
Over 50 participants from government agencies and the port sector are attending the event in the Port of Luanda. The workshop is being conducted in Portuguese and English and is facilitated by IMO's Andrew Birchenough with the support of an expert provided by the Government of Brazil.
The damaging build-up of plastic litter in the oceans is increasingly recognised as a major threat to the global environment. Harrowing images of marine wildlife being trapped by plastic litter, or even ingesting it, are becoming tragically familiar.
IMO's long track record of engagement in the fight against this insidious form of pollution was reinforced last year, when its governing Assembly of Member States placed the issue of marine plastic litter from shipping on the agenda of its leading environmental technical body, the Marine Environment Protection Committee. IMO Member Governments have been invited to submit concrete proposals about developing an action plan on the subject to the Committee's next meeting, in October.
This week (29-31 May) IMO is participating in the Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi. This group was established by the United Nations Environment Assembly to further examine the barriers to, and options for, combating marine plastic litter and microplastics from all sources, especially land-based sources.
Discharging plastics and other forms of litter into the sea from ships has actually been banned by an IMO regulation, legally binding on all ships, for some 30 years. The so-called MARPOL Annex V entered into force internationally in 1988 and, today, more than 150 countries have signed up to it.
In addition, countries party to another IMO instrument prohibiting dumping at sea (the London Convention/Protocol) earlier this year raised concerns regarding the disposal of fibreglass reinforced plastic vessels at sea.
Read more about IMO's work to combat marine litter here.