Igor Šegota Captain and Adria Libar Instructor gives his review of this year's IMO World Maritime theme

World Maritime Day 2023 Highlights Marine Environment Protection

World Maritime Day is observed every year on the last Thursday of September. Its purpose is to draw attention to the critical aspects of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment, while also highlighting specific aspects of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) work. In the year 2023, World Maritime Day is celebrated on September 28th.

International shipping plays a pivotal role in the global economy, facilitating the transportation of more than 80 percent of global trade to people and communities worldwide. It stands as the most efficient and cost-effective means of transporting goods internationally, offering a reliable and economically viable way to move products across the globe. This efficiency in shipping not only supports commerce but also contributes to the prosperity of nations and their inhabitants.

A safe, secure, and efficient international shipping industry is vital for global trade and serves as an indispensable component for fostering sustainable economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner. Sustainable shipping and maritime development are key priorities for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the years ahead. Thus, IMO’s commitment encompasses energy efficiency, the adoption of new technologies and innovations, maritime education and training, maritime security, effective maritime traffic management, and the development of maritime infrastructure. Establishing and implementing global standards addressing these and other relevant issues is essential to reinforce IMO’s dedication to providing the necessary institutional framework for a green and sustainable global maritime transportation system.

This year sees the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the primary global treaty for the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from intentional, operational or accidental causes.

To mark IMO’s dedication to the objectives of this landmark treaty, the theme of World Maritime Day 2023 is “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”. IMO is calling on Member States and all in the maritime industry to celebrate the day and be inspired to build upon the positive impacts MARPOL has brought. IMO’s work towards a sustainable future with enhanced protection of our planet and ocean continues.

 World Maritime Day promotes innovation to accelerate the transition of the marine sector towards a zero- and low-emission future. Topics addressed through high-level panel discussions include environmental performance; reducing plastic litter from ships; supporting innovation in marine fuel production; decarbonizing the maritime sector; unlocking green finance; and partnerships and collaboration.

The theme, “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”, throws a spotlight on IMO’s important regulatory work over half a century to protect the environment from the impact of shipping, and emphasizes the Organization’s ongoing commitment to do more in support of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals encompass various aspects, including affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9), climate action, sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources (SDGs 13 and 14), and the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these objectives (SDG 17).

More about IMO World Maritime theme for 2023 read here


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