World ports contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Ports & Terminals, UN — By on July 14, 2017 at 2:34 PM

Santiago Garcia-Mila

TOKYO, 14 June 2017 – The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) President Santiago Milà delivered a keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum that took place in Ningbo, China, 11-12 July. Mr. Zhang Xiao-jie, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Transport, and other Chinese VIPs addressed the audience who gathered for this annual event.

Mr. Santiago Milà started his speech by saying that the main role of ports is to add value to the economy, and in this context, they should strive to design very efficient logistics chains. These logistics chains should eventually contribute to a sustainable growth based on 3 pillars: social, environmental and economic pillars.

He further went on to say “A lot of attention has – rightly – been paid to the environmental pillar, but true sustainability is about integration with the economic and societal dimensions. Historically, IAPH, at the forefront of developments for ports, took on a pioneering role in establishing in 2008 the World Port Climate Initiative (WPCI), which it is now extending into a World Port Sustainability Programme.”

Under the WPCI a number of practical tools were developed, including guidance document “Carbon Footprinting for Ports”, the dedicated website for Onshore Power Supply (OPS) was developed and the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) was launched to for ports to identify and reward clean ships and others. Recently at its World Ports Conference held in Bali in May 2017, IAPH decided to integrate the WPCI in a wider World Ports Sustainability Programme (WPSP) that will extend the scope from climate action to a full range of sustainability port development challenges the industry is facing.

By engaging regional port associations and international port-related organisations, the WPSP will be launched officially in Antwerp, Belgium, during a two-day international conference to be held 22-23 March 2018.

More importantly, this new programme WPSP will identify how the global port sector can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, covering biosphere, society and economy. By incorporating “Smart Port” concept and “Digitalisation”, the WPSP is expected to assist ports in increasing the efficiency and sustainability of their day-to-day port operations.

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a nonprofit global alliance of roughly 180 ports and 150 maritime companies and institutes representing about 90 countries. The IAPH is dedicated to fostering cooperation among ports and harbors and promoting the vital role they play in creating a peaceful, more prosperous world. Based in Tokyo and recognized as the only voice speaking for ports around the globe, the IAPH has Consultative NGO Status from the United Nations and is active in developing international trade and maritime policy. IAPH member ports handle about 80 percent of world container traffic and more than 60 percent of all international maritime trade.

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