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.
In the UK the Maritime Charities Group (MCG) and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) have called on shipping companies and training providers to make sure that any training they offer on mental health and wellbeing awareness meets the standards set out in their good practice guide.
Published in June this year, A Seafarers’ Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Training Standard was written by experts from the maritime and education sectors in response to the growing mental health crisis amongst seafarers. The Standard has received widespread endorsement from academics, trainers and industry alike.
Speaking in advance of World Mental Health Day on 10 October Commander Graham Hockley, Chair of the MCG, said: ‘One in four people will develop a mental health problem during their lifetime, but the incidence amongst seafarers is much higher. Sadly the Covid-19 crisis has made the situation even worse. Now is the time for shipping companies to provide relevant, high quality mental health and wellbeing awareness training that meets the needs of their crew. And our Standard helps them to do just that.’
Aimed at prospective buyers of training courses as well as potential participants, the Standard sets a benchmark for training that aims to develop a keen awareness and appreciation of mental health and wellbeing amongst seafarers, as well as those with an interest in seafaring. It includes course content, delivery and the qualification requirements of course facilitators.
Commander Hockley explained why the Standard is important: ‘There are many reputable providers offering really good training courses but the majority are generic and really don’t address the specific issues facing seafarers. If you’re working at sea you need a course that’s much more targeted otherwise it just won’t be relevant. That’s why we’ve developed the Standard, setting out clearly what a good training course should cover.’
The Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) is a training course provider to over 40 constituent maritime welfare organisations and has already adopted the Standard for future mental health awareness training courses.
MNWB Chief Executive Officer, Peter Tomlin said: ‘With the cancellation of instructor led courses as a result of COVID-19, we’ve concentrated our resources on the creation and provision of eLearning courses. We’ll be launching a new Seafarer Mental Health Awareness course for Port Chaplains and ship welfare volunteers in November and used the Standard as a best practice guide.’
He added: ‘I recommend all training commissioners to check out this extremely useful benchmarking tool. The Standard will undoubtedly benefit course providers and students alike, particularly during these challenging times.’
Shipping industry representative, Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping added: ‘We were delighted to work with the MCG to make this Standard available but now is the time to remind those responsible for commissioning training that it’s there and they need to use it. … we’re calling on companies to make sure they provide mental health and wellbeing awareness training for their crew and that it meets the relevant standards. And only by looking for the MCG and MNTB logos can they be sure that the course will meet their specific needs and be delivered by someone who understands the environment they work in.’
The Seafarers’ Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Training Standard, published by MNTB, is available from maritime publishers Witherbys for a nominal £10 fee. To buy a copy readers are invited see here: https://www.witherbyseamanship.com/a-standard-for-seafarers-mental-health-and-wellbeing-training-ebook.html
For information readers may wish to contact Valerie Coleman, MCG Programme Development Manager by e-mail on Valerie.email@example.com or call 07515 050 301
The MCG fosters collaboration across the maritime charity sector. It does this by sharing information, commissioning research, supporting the education and welfare of seafarers and their families and by the promotion of best practice within the maritime charity sector. Our vision is for a maritime charity sector that works collaboratively to achieve the greatest impact for seafarers and their families.
For more information see here: www.seafarers.uk/about-us/partners/maritime-charities-group/
More than 50 leaders from the financial, public and private sectors participated in the first Financing Sustainable Maritime Transport (FIN-SMART) Roundtable on 27 October. The high level virtual Roundtable (pictured here) was hosted by the IMO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group. We are grateful for a valuable briefing on this topic.
The FIN-SMART Roundtable is a platform for regular dialogue among key maritime stakeholders on addressing the financial challenges related to the transition of shipping to a more sustainable and resilient future. The Roundtable aims to support accelerating financial flows – particularly in developing countries – for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, in line with country priorities and the goals of the IMO Initial Strategy* on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. Participants will also address the sector’s COVID-19 recovery needs.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the importance of maritime transport in the global economy as an engine of growth and a driver of social development. He called for strong support to accelerate finance for sustainable maritime transport, in particular in decarbonisation and sustainable recovery post COVID-19.
He said: These will be only possible with targeted investment and strategic partnerships, particularly addressing special needs of developing countries, LDCs and SIDS.’ (The full speech is to be found here: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/SecretaryGeneral/Pages/FIN-SMART-roundtable-launch.aspx )
This statement was conveyed in an IMO Media briefing of 23 October
Draft new mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships have been agreed by an IMO working group. This marks a major step forward, building on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
It is understood that the proposed amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity.
This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. The amendments were developed by the seventh session of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 7), held as a remote meeting from 19-23 October 2020.
Submission to MEPC
The draft amendments will be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75), to be held in remote session from 16-20 November. The MEPC is the decision-making body. If approved, the draft amendments could then be put forward for adoption at the subsequent MEPC 76 session, to be held during 2021.
The ISWG-GHG 7 also discussed the next steps in assessing the possible impacts on States of the proposed combined measure. This group agreed the proposed terms of reference for assessing the possible impacts on States, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).