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‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’

‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’
The Manila Times July 31, 2019

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” has been selected as the World Maritime theme for 2020.

According to IMO, this will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showcase the work IMO and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.

The IMO Council, meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London on July 23, endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

“I believe that this theme will provide flexibility to the Secretariat and the Member States in highlighting the myriad topics and challenges in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. At the same time, it will provide excellent opportunities to highlight the already significant contributions of shipping and the IMO to building that sustainable future,” Lim said.

“The year 2020 will mark the beginning of a decade of action and delivery. It will be a decisive decade not only for the shipping industry, but for life on the planet,” Lim added.

He noted that September 2019 would see a gathering of heads of state at the United Nations in New York, to take stock of how far the world has come in realizing the sustainable development commitments.

The SDG Summit, the Climate Action Summit and other high-level meetings planned for 2020, such as the Our Ocean and the UN Ocean Conferences, will provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors, including shipping, to both reflect on the work done and the urgent steps needed toward a sustainable future.

“The shipping industry, with the support of the IMO regulatory framework, has already started the transition toward this sustainable future. We have adopted and continue to develop measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter, improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information, meet the challenges of the digitalization of shipping, and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community,” Lim said.

“We are strategically equipped, in line with the approach laid out in the IMO Secretariat’s SDGs Strategy, to showcase our contribution to the SDGs and to act upon untapped opportunities of technologies, finance and new partnerships for the future benefit of the shipping industry and humankind,” he added.

In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.

This agenda calls for action by all countries to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide — and the SDGs are seen as an opportunity to transform the world for the better and leave no one behind.