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.
Private Sector Leadership in Climate-Proof Ports for Small Island Developing States, to give it its full title, is an official event organized by the World Ocean Council (WOC) during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September. This WOC event will tackle the need and opportunity for business action to improve the resilience of ports and coastal infrastructure in islands.
At a venue to be agreed on 13 September, from 0900 to 1030, senior representatives will be brought together from ports, port users (for example shipping, cruise tourism, fishing, and so forth), engineering and construction and weather forecasting firms, as well as representatives from investment, insurance, governments, bilateral-, multilateral- and inter-governmental organisations.
The Global Climate Action Summit of which the Climate-Proof Ports event is part will run from 12-14 September, see: http://globalclimateactionsummit.org/ .
Elaine Forbes, Executive Director, Port of San Francisco, who will open the event, commented: ‘Ports and coastal infrastructure are critical to the economy, especially in small islands and archipelagic developing countries.
‘Sea level rise and extreme weather events, such as the hurricanes which struck the Caribbean in 2017, highlight the devastating impacts facing ports.
‘We are actively working on ensuring the Port of San Francisco is resilient and ready for the future and agree with the World Ocean Council that an international effort is needed to share experience in adapting to the challenges.’
The WOC event will advance business action to design, develop, and deliver a capacity building programme that will help prepare Small Island Developing States (SIDS*) governments and their port owners, operators and users to:
(1) Overcome resource constraints and institutional barriers to planning for adaption in partnership with the private sector, and
(2) Establish the local enabling conditions that can catalyse private sector engagement needed for port adaptation, including finance.
The event will advance WOC efforts to implement pilot projects in port resiliency for SIDS that will be developed and tested for replicability. The programme will work to scale up globally to support additional port adaptation needs in SIDS and in archipelagic and coastal developing countries, in collaboration with international organizations such as the Green Climate Fund and/or multilateral and bilateral agencies.
Sea level rise and extreme weather events can immediately and significantly affect people, livelihoods, communities, businesses and economies. Due to the interconnectedness of the global economy – and the role of maritime industries as the connective tissue for that economy – these effects quickly spread from the local scale to have national and international consequences.
Extreme events can cause the closing of ports, disruption of land transport, shutting of airports, interruption of water and food provision, loss of energy production or delivery, shuttering of businesses, etc. This loss of essential infrastructure, goods and services immediately affects the ability to deliver emergency humanitarian aid and assistance, exacerbating the human tragedy.
Over the longer term, recovery at all levels is constrained by the extent to which the return of this underlying fabric of modern society to pre-impact functioning is delayed, creating significant business and economic loss.
The threat posed by extreme events is magnified many-fold in developing countries, especially those for which a single or a few major port cities are both the lifeline to the global economy and the economic hub and powerhouse for a nation. This is particularly true for all small island developing states (SIDS), which are thus highly vulnerable and a high priority for port and coastal adaptation.
It is understood that pre-registration to participate can be achieved by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line WOC Small Islands Port Adaption Workshop.
On 11 February the PAC published as evidence a National Audit Office memorandum titled:
The award of contracts for additional freight capacity on ferry services
The document is available here: www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/public-accounts/Correspondence/2017-19/Memorandum%20for%20PAC%20-%20The%20award%20of%20contracts%20for%20ferry%20services.pdf
PAC Chair Meg Hillier MP commented: ‘The scrapping of the Seaborne contract, and the NAO review we have published today, raise serious issues which we will explore at our session on progress with Brexit preparations on Wednesday (13 February).
It was announced on 8 February that IMO has launched a new logo for its Women in Maritime programme, as part of its mission to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Programme lead Helen Buni said: ‘The IMO Women in Maritime programme supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition’, through a wide range of gender-specific activities. The new logo is just one visible part of the programme and will help women in maritime gain more visibility and exposure throughout the maritime sector and beyond.’