Search and rescue at sea depends on the integrated satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication communications system - the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The GMDSS is mandatory under the International convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). IMO's Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 7, 15-24 January) will continue its ongoing work to review GMDSS requirements, to enable the use of modern communication systems in the GMDSS, while removing requirements to carry obsolete systems. The aim is to finalize the review in 2021, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), so that SOLAS amendments can be adopted for entry into force in 2024.
The Sub-Committee is set to complete its update of the International SafetyNET Services Manual. SafetyNET is an integral part of the GMDSS, providing an automatic direct-printing satellite-based service for the promulgation of safety information and warnings.
Work on developing safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters will continue. The Polar Code is mandatory under SOLAS, but this generally excludes fishing vessels, pleasure yachts, smaller ships under 500 gross tons and vessels on domestic voyages.
Proposed revisions to guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance will also be considered.
The Sub-Committee will receive information on the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with a view to considering its recognition as a future component of the world-wide radio navigation system. Information will also be received on the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) (Japan) for development of performance standards for QZSS equipment and with a view to its future recognition.
The Sub-Committee is expected to revise guidelines for vessel traffic services. The session will also review proposed amended ships' routeing measures, discuss matters relating to the functioning and operation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) and prepare liaison statements to the International Telecommunications Union.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the session, which is being chaired by Mr. Ringo Lakeman (Netherlands). (Click for photos).
The second regional Knowledge
Partnership Workshop in Asia is underway in Bangkok, Thailand (16-20 December).
Co-organised by IMO, Thailand’s Ministry of Transport and UNESCAP – the United
Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia – the workshop is designed to
support maritime technical cooperation activities in the region.
The workshop brings together
officials from transport ministries, responsible for maritime affairs, and
finance ministries, responsible for official development assistance. Participants
share knowledge, skills and experience and meet maritime and development
cooperation counterparts from around the region to seek cooperation
opportunities. Increasing awareness of maritime
issues and prioritising them in national development plans is another important
The workshop provides a platform for
donors to prioritise their interests and identify the needs and demands of
recipient countries; and for recipients to have a better understanding of how
to access the various resources available to address their needs. Both sides
are improving their understanding of each other’s mechanisms for accessing and
delivering funding and support.
The workshop is part of IMO’s new long-term
strategy on mobilising resources for technical cooperation activities. This
embodies a more proactive and methodical approach for generating new resources,
encouraging partnerships with IMO Member States, the United Nations system and
multilateral development banks, through new and innovative projects. It
encourages active communication with potential donors and recipients to
highlight the value and benefits of working with IMO and its alignment with the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participating Member States and
organizations represented at the workshop are: Australia, Bangladesh,
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, the
Lao People's Democratic Republic, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan,
the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet
Nam and UNESCAP.
The IMO Hong Kong Convention will set global standards for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling, when it enters into force. A national workshop to raise awareness of the treaty and its related guidelines has taken place in Karachi, Pakistan (11-13 December), to help prepare the country for ratification and implementation of the Convention. Nearly 40 participants from relevant Pakistan stakeholders, including the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Ship Breakers' Association, Ministry of Commerce and Textile, Customs and Marine Academy - as well as from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Wide fund for Nature (WWF) - attended the workshop and shared their experiences on ship recycling.
The workshop was organized by IMO in collaboration with the Pakistan Ministry of Maritime Affairs to support capacity building for Pakistan on safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. Pakistan is one of the top five ship recycling countries in the world, which between them account for more than 98% of all ship recycling by gross tonnage – the others are Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey (of these, two are already Parties to the Hong Kong Convention: India and Turkey).
Countries surrounding the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden have
pledged to make progress towards ratifying, implementing and enforcing IMO’s
liability and compensation regime*, thanks to a workshop in Dubai (8-12
The regime covers a wide range of pollution incidents,
wreck removal, carriage of passengers and luggage – providing a
system which enables liability to be determined and ensures that any
compensation due is paid.
Countries need to ratify and implement rules and regulations in order for them
to be effective.
Participants from Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United
Arab Emirates and Yemen were given a comprehensive overview of the relevant IMO
liability conventions. Participants also shared information on their
countries’ law-making process and implementation of IMO conventions – including
on drafting national maritime legislation.
The United Arab
Emirates and Oman indicated their intention to work towards ratifying a number
of the treaties concerned.
The workshop was organized by the Federal Transport
Authority – Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates, in collaboration
* including treaties covering wreck removal, salvage, carriage of hazardous and noxious substances, passengers, CLC, Fund, Bunkers Convention and limitation
Mediterranean coastal states have agreed to increase resources for the IMO-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), which assists Mediterranean coastal states to build national capacities to prevent marine pollution from ships and act in the event of major incidents.Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean, meeting in Naples, Italy (2-5 December), recognised increased workload and new environmental issues (such as air pollution) assigned to REMPEC and the other five regional activity centres. The centres have been established under the Mediterranean Action Plan to support environmental protection of the Mediterranean Sea.The meeting agreed to new standards and guidelines which have been developed by REMPEC. These include: standards and guidelines under the Offshore Protocol, which aims at protecting against pollution from offshore activities; and guidelines on port reception facilities (Guidelines on the Provision of Reception Facilities in Ports and the Delivery of Ship-Generated Wastes and the Application of Charges at Reasonable Costs for the Use of Port Reception Facilities).The Mediterranean States also adopted a roadmap towards the possible future designation of the Mediterranean Sea as a sulphur oxides (SOx) Emission Control Area under the IMO regulations for prevention of air pollution from ships (MARPOL Annex VI). A new global sulphur limit for sulphur in ships fuel oil comes into effect from 1 January 2020, cutting the limit for sulphur in ships' fuel oil to 0.50% from 3.50% - but in emission control areas, the limit is even lower, at 0.10%.IMO and REMPEC were represented at the 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (COP 21), which brought together more than 350 delegates from the 21 Mediterranean coastal states. In a video message, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim stressed the importance placed on IMO’s longstanding cooperation with UN
Environment in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those
related to sustainable oceans and seas.
With the rise of transport by sea of chemicals and gases (both in bulk and containerized), proper preparedness for response to potential spill incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) is increasingly important.
The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) hosted a three-day training in Tekirdağ, Turkey (3-5 December).
The workshop brought together over 50 response managers from the public and private sectors to examine considerations and challenges in responding to HNS incidents occurring in national waters.
The workshop was based on the OPRC-HNS Model Training Courses which has been developed to assist IMO Member States in their efforts to build national capacity in preparing for and responding to HNS incidents, in line with the OPRC-HNS Protocol.
The OPRC-HNS Protocol aims to establish national systems for preparedness and response and to provide a global framework for international co-operation in combating major incidents or threats of marine pollution.
The training was hosted by the Government of Turkey and was held on the premises of the recently inaugurated National Maritime Safety and Emergency Response Centre (UDEM), and funded by the IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, REMPEC's Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) as well as from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.
IMO has presented its latest work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping to the UN climate change conference (COP 25) in Spain (2-13 December). IMO's initial GHG strategy contains a commitment to cutting GHG emissions from shipping as a matter of urgency and to phasing them out entirely as soon as possible. The COP heard that IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has approved draft amendments to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for new ships; and an intersessional working group meeting has considered various mandatory proposals aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of existing ships. Further development of concrete proposals is expected at the next intersessional working group and MEPC meetings in March-April 2020.
IMO also reported to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA 51) on the continued successful execution of two important capacity-building projects (GloMEEP and the global GMN network for energy-efficient shipping), which are supporting developing countries in the implementation of IMO's energy efficiency measures; and the initiation of a third, GreenVoyage-2050 project, to support global efforts to demonstrate and test technical solutions for reducing GHG emissions in shipping and enhance knowledge and information sharing to support the Initial IMO GHG Strategy.
Meanwhile, IMO's mandatory requirement for data collection on fuel oil consumption of ships is reaching its first full year of reporting; and the fourth IMO GHG study has been initiated, to provide an updated inventory of GHG emissions from international shipping.
In addition to its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, IMO is regulating climate change mitigation technologies, including carbon capture and storage in sub-seabed geological formations and marine geoengineering, through the London Convention and the London Protocol, to ensure protection of the marine environment (read more here).
Download IMO COP 25 statement here. IMO will participate in a number of side events during the COP 25 summit.
Opening IMO's biennial IMO Assembly (25 November-4 December), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim made a specific call on Member States for "concrete action" to deliver IMO's GHG reduction strategy.
Work is underway to further develop Viet Nam’s national oil
spill contingency plan at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, this week
Forty participants from across 10 government departments and
the oil and gas and shipping industry are taking part in the workshop, which is
the latest in a series of IMO-assisted events on oil spill contingency in
Participants are being introduced to international good
practices and developments in the field of oil spill preparedness and response
– and supported to identify areas for improvement in Viet Nam’s existing
national framework. An action plan to finalize the draft National Oil Spill
Contingency Plan will be agreed.
Accession to IMO’s Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and
Convention was also discussed, as part of Viet Nam’s plan to become a party to
the treaty. Under the convention, countries are required to establish measures
for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in cooperation with
The workshop was organized under the framework of the Global
Initiative project for South East Asia (GI SEA),
a joint project with the oil and gas industry (IPIECA), which
supports implementation of OPRC Convention.
A regional workshop organised by IMO has provided senior maritime administration officials in Latin America with the latest information on current and future developments at the Organization. The workshop for the regional maritime authorities networks, ROCRAM and ROCRAM-CA was held at IMO Headquarters in London (26 November) in the margin of the 31st IMO Assembly.
The 28 participants* received detailed information about the activities within the IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) aimed at building capacity in the region to comply with international rules and standards related to maritime safety and the prevention of maritime pollution. Participants also heard from technical officers on issues such as the IMO Audits Scheme. They also had a chance to ask questions on the outcomes of many IMO meetings of special interest to their regions.
The following countries attended: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela, as well as by the SECROCRAM and COCATRAM Secretariats.
Well-trained seafarers are essential to safe
ship navigation in Polar waters and IMO has been playing its part with a
training course for maritime instructors, underway in Valparaíso, Chile (18-22
The course is training participants from
maritime training institutions in South America responsible for training
seafarers – with a focus on IMO’s Polar Code. The code, when properly applied,
is a powerful tool for safeguarding the environment and protecting the lives of
seafarers and passengers in the challenging polar regions.
It entered into force in January 2017 –
setting out mandatory standards covering the full range of design,
construction, equipment, operational, training and environmental protection
matters that apply to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding
the two poles.
The training course is supporting the
participants develop competence-based training programmes, update existing
programmes and improve the use of relevant IMO model courses.
information about the Polar Code, including videos and infographics, can be
What do successful, well-run ports and female empowerment have in
common? Both can make a significant contribution to sustainable economic
IMO is providing support to eight female
officials from developing countries, with an emphasis on Pacific Small Island
Developing States, attending a Port Senior Management Programme held at the
Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Nahalal, Israel, (6-19
The two-week course provides
participants* with key information and updates on innovations in the port
industry. Subjects covered include global trends and advances in port
development, management and operations; port security and efficiency in
container terminals; and international law concerning ports and ships.
Organized visits to the Israeli Maritime Training Authority in Akko and the Port of Haifa, as well as practical simulator exercises, 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 GIMI. 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.
* Participants from: Cabo Verde, Fiji,
Kiribati, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles and Solomon Islands
States in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden area have adopted a plan of action to ensure better coordination of regional efforts to enhance maritime security. During a high-level regional meeting in Mombasa, Kenya (13-14 November), signatory States to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area* agreed to establish a governance framework to champion implementation of the code.
A Steering Committee will be established along with working groups on information sharing and coordination. This should help ensure better coordination of capacity building through concerted efforts to leverage synergies, avoid duplication of effort and achieve better collaboration with donors and implementing partners, to promote improved programmes to deal with the wide range of maritime security threats in the region.
The Working Group on Information Sharing will spearhead work on the development of an information sharing network, including a plan to establish multi-agency National Maritime Information Sharing Centres. There will also be support for the development of regional maritime information sharing centres.
The Working Group on Coordination of Effort will be responsible for championing coordination of capacity building efforts, including work to enhance maritime domain awareness and coordination of training activities.
The Mombasa meeting was jointly organized by IMO and the Republic of Kenya with financial contribution from the United Kingdom.
*Known as the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017
An effective maritime transport system is an important foundation for
sustainable development. But it needs proper planning and a solid policy
foundation. So, as part of its efforts to help deliver the global Sustainable Development
Goals, IMO encourages and assists its Member States to devise national maritime
A seminar on maritime transport policy, delivered by IMO and the faculty of
the World Maritime University is now an integral part of the curriculum at
IMO’s Malta-based International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) – and the fourth
in the series has just been completed (13-15 November).
The seminar highlights the
importance of a national maritime transport policy to guide planning, decision
making and legislation in the maritime sector. In particular, the importance of
maritime transport policy
in relation to developing maritime legislation and the close relation between
policy and legislation is emphasised. At the
end of the seminar the students participate in a practical group exercise,
during which they formulate the key aspects of a maritime transport policy for
an imaginary state.
By teaching students from
developing countries how to formulate their national maritime transport
policies, IMO contributes to several of the SDGs.
The seminar is the
result of continuing collaboration between IMO and its two global maritime
training institutions – the World Maritime University and IMLI – which help to
train the future leaders of the maritime world.
is the latest country to benefit from IMO’s work promoting good maritime
governance to support sustainable development. A workshop starting the process
to develop a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) for the country took
place in the capital, Antananarivo (13-15 November).
participants from across government departments took part and decided to
complete a draft policy in early 2020. All relevant government entities and
stakeholders would be involved in the process, with the goal being to
contribute to the country’s sustainable socio-economic development and
achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
more about the National Maritime Transport Policy concept, what it is and how
it works, by watching IMO’s NMTP video, here.
workshop was organized by IMO and the Agence Portuaire, Maritime et Fluviale,
with support from the World Maritime University (WMU).
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