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.
Well under way
In a spate of activity since its formal launch in March, the initial phase of the Glofouling Partnerships project is now well underway with a series of technical workshops in the Pacific. This was reported by the IMO Media service on 2 July.
(See illustrations kindly provided by IMO ©).
Delivered to participants the key message was that once introduced, marine invasive species can be hard to eradicate – and invasive species represent a potential major threat to the Pacific Ocean’s biodiversity and the ecological integrity of Small Island Developing States. The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project aims to protect marine biodiversity by addressing bioinvasions by organisms which can build up on ships’ hulls and other marine structures.
Participants from South Pacific countries took part in a five-day regional workshop from 3 to 7 June in Suva, Fiji. This provided an opportunity to outline the main instruments which aim to prevent the spread of invasive species and address fouling on ships:
As we well know implementation of these conventions and guidelines can help prevent the transfer of invasive aquatic species into the Pacific region.
During the workshop, site visits to a dockyard in Suva provided an opportunity for participants to see at first hand hull cleaning/painting, and to see where fouling can occur in niche areas such as sea chests, bow thrusters or propeller shafts.
This regional workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in collaboration with the Project Coordination Unit of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships. The regional workshop was part funded by IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation programme (ITCP).
Attended was recorded by representatives from Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, the Federate States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Consultants and support were also provided from Maritime New Zealand, the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Two of the 12 Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) of the GloFouling Partnerships hosted national workshops to review the programme of work and begin establishing national task forces. These took place in Fiji on 10 June and Tonga on 12 / 13 June. Such national meetings were attended by representatives from a wide range of government institutions and the private sector, such as the ministries of environment, fisheries, transport and infrastructure, port authority, biosecurity, port state control officers, dry docks, shipping agents and operators.
Role of national task forces
Strong support was provided by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. One of the exercises of the participants was to review the institutions and stakeholders that should be contacted to take part in their National Task Force, to be set up in the coming months. The role of the national task forces will be to oversee the development of a strategy and action plan to implement IMO’s Biofouling Guidelines and best practices for other maritime industries.
The GloFouling Partnerships will organize similar national workshops in the remaining Lead Partnering Countries in the coming months. These Partnerships will work incollaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO.
Twelve lead partnering countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tonga); four regional organizations with the IOC-UNESCO, the World Ocean Council and numerous strategic partners have signed up to the project.
ABB signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hydrogène de France to jointly manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going vessels
The MOU between ABB and hydrogen technologies specialist Hydrogène de France (HDF) envisages close collaboration on the assembly and production of the fuel cell power plant for marine applications. This was reported by ABB on 8 April.
Building on an existing collaboration announced on 27 June 2018 with Ballard Power Systems, the leading global provider of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solutions, ABB and HDF intend to optimize fuel cell manufacturing capabilities to produce a megawatt-scale power plant for marine vessels. The new system will be based on the megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant jointly developed by ABB and Ballard and will be manufactured at HDF’s new facility in Bordeaux, France.
On 1 April from Geneva the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that it was concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quantity and quality of weather observations and forecasts, as well as atmospheric and climate monitoring.
WMO’s Global Observing System serves as a backbone for all weather and climate services and products provided by the 193 WMO Member states and territories to their citizens. It provides observations on the state of the atmosphere and ocean surface from land-, marine- and space-based instruments. This data is used for the preparation of weather analyses, forecasts, advisories and warnings.
In the words of WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas: ‘National Meteorological and Hydrological Services continue to perform their essential 24/7 functions despite the severe challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic,” said. “We salute their dedication to protecting lives and property but we are mindful of the increasing constraints on capacity and resources.
‘The impacts of climate change and growing amount of weather-related disasters continue. The COVID-19 pandemic poses an additional challenge, and may exacerbate multi-hazard risks at a single country level. Therefore it is essential that governments pay attention to their national early warning and weather observing capacities despite the COVID-19 crisis.’