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Press Release: IAPH, several IMO member states and NGOs to submit MEPC resolution

At International Association of Ports and Harbors 2019 World Ports Conference opening in Guangzhou, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim commends IAPH’s commitment to working with IMO members on addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 – Climate Action

In his opening address relayed to the attendees of the first plenary session of the IAPH Guangzhou 2019 World Ports Conference, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim re-emphasised the importance of the combined role of shipping and ports in both world trade and sustainable development:

“Transport is a chain. No link in a chain can be really be effective if viewed in isolation. Actions impacting ships will have an impact throughout the entire supply chain, especially on ports.”

The IMO Secretary General spoke about the work of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) with member IMO states and NGOs to address specific UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“SDG9 for example is all about building resilient infrastructure. Nothing could be more important in this context than an effective ship-port interface.”

Kitack Lim specifically commended IAPH’s collaborative work on SDG 13 which addresses Climate Action. This included IAPH’s work with Canada on a joint resolution encouraging voluntary cooperation between ports and shipping to reduce vessel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He also acknowledged IAPH’s support to co-develop port emissions toolkits on the IMO-based GloMEEP (Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships) Project.

The Secretary General made the remark that ships use around 15% of their total fuel whilst in port or in a harbor: “Ports will be vital to provide infrastructure to supply alternative fuels to power shipping if we are to meet the ambitious GHG emissions targets” he commented.

IMO joint resolution to be presented to next MEPC Committee

IAPH’s initial work with the Canadian government on a joint IMO resolution that invites Member States to encourage voluntary collaboration between ports and shipping to facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions from vesselsin ports and harborshas resulted in a detailed submission to the IMO. It has been co-sponsored by a number of other governments, various shipping industry associations as well as the World Wildlife Fund and is planned to be tabled at the meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) next week.

Connecting shipping, ports and the people that operate them

In his opening conference statement at the Guangzhou conference, which is being attended by over 1,000 delegates from more than fifty countries , IAPH PresidentSantiago Garcia-Milà surmised:

For several decades, the World Ports Conference has been a unique platform for leaders in the global ports industry to share valuable experience and new ideas. But we equally aspire to turn this conference into a forum where port executives meet with their customers, partners in the logistics chain and thought leaders from outside our sector. The theme of this conference ‘Collaborate Now, Create Future’ embodies this spirit.”

Chairing the session on integrating UN SDGs into port governance, IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented : “The creation a year ago of the IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program has resulted in a knowledge pool of fine examples where ports have taken their own initiative on UN SDGs, some of which will be recognised at our first WPSP Awards ceremony this week. At our Conference here in China and in London at the IMO next week our various working groups are looking to translate that pool into practical and concrete guidance, for the benefit of ports and the communities they serve.”

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