Page 44: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2012)

Training & Maritime Security

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The oceans are an absolutely essential component of human lives, livelihoods and the environment that sustains us. More than 70 percent of the globe is covered by oceans, and it is no exaggeration to say that the health of the oceans, and the well- being of humanity and the living environment that sustains us all, are inextricably linked. Ocean and coastal areas are major contributors to the global economy and fundamental to global welfare; whether as the setting for a vast range of direct economic activities, as the catalyst for vital environmental processes, or as home to the majority of the world?s population - more than 40 per cent of the world?s population (upwards of 2.8 billion people) live within 100 kilometres of the coast. The use of ocean space and maritime resources has been, and continues to be, an essential component of global economic growth and prosperity. At the same time, as surely nobody can be unaware, the world today faces immense and unprecedented challenges. In- deed, many would agree that we are potentially on the verge of huge, even cataclysmic changes. Just as we seemed to be recovering from the Þ nancial crash of 2008 and the recession that followed, the European debt crisis has arrived to throw the Þ nancial foundations of our society into turmoil once again. The global population has passed 7 billion and is continuing to rise. Shortages of vital commodities such as oil, grain, rice and even water are loom- ing on the horizon. Africa continues to face famine; and all this against a background of global warming and climate change. And today the oceans, too, are beset by many problems. The fragile and interconnected nature of ocean ecosystems and hu- man activities has, in recent decades, become all too appar- ent. From climate change and its diverse impacts on oceans, through to the destruction of and damage to marine ecosys- tems, the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of the natu- ral environment, including from over Þ shing and destructive Þ shing, human impact on the ocean has been profound. Later this year, the UN Conference on Sustainable Develop- ment, Rio +20, will focus global attention on how the world can move towards a so-called ?green economy? ? which has been de Þ ned as ?A system of economic activities related to the production, distribution and consumption of goods and ser- vices that result in improved human wellbeing over the long term, while not exposing future generations to signi Þ cant en- vironmental risks and ecological scarcities.? Shipping is an essential part of any economy ? and the green economy will be no exception. The sustainable development and growth of the world?s economy will not be possible without similar sustainable growth in shipping and, therefore, in the entire maritime sector. And, despite the current global economic problems, growth in the longer term seems inevitable. When I speak of shipping, I include within this blanket term all the ancillary activities that are vital to support the actual management and operation of ships and the movement of car- go. Activities such as the operation of maritime traf Þ c man- agement systems and global communication systems, ports and multi-modal connections are all components of this multi-faceted sector. Looking to a slightly broader horizon, shipbuilding and classi Þ cation, ship registry and administra- tion, ship repairing, ship recycling, maritime education and training, could all be included under the same umbrella as, indeed, could search and rescue services, maritime security agencies, coast guards and maritime law enforcement agen- cies and many others, too. Not only is shipping cost-effective, it is also relatively safe, secure and environmentally sound. Global and liberal, it pro- vides reliable mass transportation for energy, materials, foods and industrial products, all over the world, and at a price that society can afford, and is willing to pay. The development of a sustainable maritime transportation sector within the overall global supply chain is essential. But achieving it is by no means straightforward and there are several challenges that need to be overcome. Among these I would include: ? overregulation and, in particular, the prospect of regional or unilateral regulatory measures for ships; ? threats to maritime security; ? piracy and armed robbery; ? a shortage of competent seafarers, particularly of Þ cers, to operate the increasingly sophisticated vessels that make up the global ß eet; ? high-quality engineering of Þ cers will be particularly in demand as tighter emission regulations require ships to burn lighter fuels in sophisticated new engine designs; ? lack of or insuf Þ cient maritime infrastructure such as ports and terminals, intermodal connections, vessel traf- Þ c management systems, maritime zone monitoring and control mechanisms;? the continuing threat of pollution; and ? lack of cohesive and connected maritime transportation policies.$&RRUGLQDWHG)XWXUHIRU 0DULWLPH3ROLF\0DNLQJ" PPolicy ,QWHUQDWLRQDO0DULWLPH2UJDQL]DWLRQBy Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, International Mari time Organization 44 I Maritime Professional I1Q 2012

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