IMO announces new group of emerging leaders to join green shipping training programme

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Maritime professionals from 14 small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) will join IMO’s flagship training programme this year to promote the global transition to net zero shipping.

The IMO-Republic of Korea Sustainable Maritime Transport Training Programme (GHG-SMART) aims to build the capacity of SIDS and LDCs to decarbonize their shipping sectors, by training professionals in the industry to develop and execute national-level strategies, as well as raise finance for green shipping projects.

This year 23 participants, including 12 women, have been enrolled from the following countries: The Bahamas, Cook Islands, Fiji, The Gambia, Grenada, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, and Timor Leste.
GHG-SMART is designed to support and respond more directly to the needs of SIDS and LDCs, as they implement the IMO 2023 Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships. Many SIDS and LDCs bear the brunt of climate change impacts, while relying heavily on the maritime sector.

The year-long programme includes online courses, field visits, webinars and one-week practical training in the Republic of Korea, combined with industry engagements. Each year, two of the trainees are awarded fully-funded scholarships to study at the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.

Previous GHG-SMART participants have welcomed the support provided to them through the programme. Several alumni recently represented their countries as official delegates at the 81st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 81) in London, from 18 to 22 March. MEPC is IMO’s decision-making body that addresses environmental issues under IMO’s remit.
During a GHG-SMART Project Steering Committee meeting held in the margins of MEPC 81, current and former trainees highlighted how their experiences enabled them to follow the debates more effectively and make stronger interventions.

Mr. Richmond Basant, Maritime Administrator at the Ministry of Works and Transport of Trinidad and Tobago and 2022 GHG-SMART alumni, said: “The programme has been of great benefit to myself and my colleagues, coming from a Small Island Developing State. It has allowed me to understand the latest emission regulations in shipping, new standards as well as the current and forecasted technologies that will drive the change in shipping to net zero.”

Funded by the Republic of Korea, GHG-SMART was launched in 2020 with an initial budget of $2.5 million. In July 2023, it was extended for three more years until 31 December 2026, with an additional budget of $2 million.

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