Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
On 1 March the ESPO* Award on Societal Integration of Ports was announced as the competition entered its eleventh in the series.
The theme of this year is Transparency and the Role of Social Media in Reaching out to Local Community”.
The ESPO Award 2019 will go to the port authority that has developed a successful strategy to reach out to the local community and is succeeding in directly communicating with port citizens.
Using social media as a new way of communication and demonstrating a high level of transparency about operational achievements, future strategies and environmental challenges and performance is becoming increasingly important for European ports who can only function and further develop if they receive the licence to operate with local citizens.
Direct and transparent communication must make it possible for every citizen to follow the port in its successes and challenges. Moreover, it allows the dialogue with the citizens and, ideally, makes every citizen an ambassador for its port.
Innovative projects since 2009
The ESPO Award was established in 2009 to promote innovative projects of port authorities that improve societal integration of ports, especially with the city or wider community in which they are located. In this way, the Award aims to stimulate the sustainable development of European ports and their cities.
Project submissions have to reach the ESPO secretariat by 28 June 2019 at the latest. The application form and the terms of reference are available on the ESPO Website here: www.espo.be
The eleventh ESPO Award will be formerly presented during an Award Ceremony and Dinner, which will take place in November in Brussels.
As ESPO say in their recent announcement: ‘Is your port successful in reaching out in a direct and transparent way to the port citizens?
‘Submit your project for the ESPO award 2019!’
The Port of Rotterdam won the ESPO Award in 2018, see illustration here.
Previous winners of the Award are the Port of Gijón (2009), the Port of Helsinki (2010), the Ports of Stockholm (2011), the Port of Genoa (2012), the Port of Antwerp (2013), the Port of Koper (2014), Port of Dublin (2015), BremenPorts (2016) and Guadeloupe Ports Caraïbes(2017).
For more information readers are invited to visit: www.espo.be
*European Sea Ports Organisation
Emerging maritime challenges were at the forefront of discussions at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security held in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on 14-15 March. Participants had the opportunity to exchange views on regional maritime issues, review progress of their maritime security work plan, and discuss proposed activities over the coming year.
IMO took the opportunity to update ARF members on IMO’s work in Asia and told senior maritime officials of potential future technical cooperation projects in the region. IMO also talked about improving the implementation, among ASEAN members, of maritime security measures, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).
It was reported by IMO on 13 March that a new set of publicly-available guidelines for monitoring plastics and microplastics in the oceans will help harmonize how scientists and others assess the scale of the marine plastic litter problem.
These guidelines* for the monitoring and assessment of plastic litter and microplastics in the ocean have been published by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a body that advises the United Nations system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Guidelines cover what to sample, how to sample it and how to record and assess plastics in the oceans and on the shoreline, including establishing baseline surveys. They include recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for establishing programmes to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter, also referred to as plastic debris, in the ocean.