IMO event in Panama highlights role of sustainable shipping in supporting blue economy development


IMO co-hosted a side event during the Our Ocean Conference in Panama City earlier this month. Its theme was “Supporting Blue Economies through Sustainable Maritime Transport (BE SMART): Building Global Partnerships to address Climate Change and Marine Pollution through IMO’s Voyage Together Initiative”.

The event highlighted the role of international shipping in supporting blue economy development and, in addressing challenges related to global climate change, biodiversity protection and marine pollution, and was co-hosted by Maritime Technologies Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Latin America. It provided an overview of IMO’s partnerships efforts through its Voyage Together Initiative and long-term technical cooperation projects on Maritime Decarbonization and Ocean Conservation, including the Global Maritime Technology Centre Network (GMN), GreenVoyage2050, GloFouling Partnerships and GloLitter Partnerships.

Opening the side event, Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Director of IMO’s Marine Environment Division, called for everyone to work together towards a sustainable and prosperous ocean economy and to ensure no one is left behind.

“Protecting our oceans is essential to ensuring a sustainable future for our planet. IMO’s work in regulating shipping, promoting decarbonisation and driving sustainable ocean conservation, is critical”, he said.

The side event was attended by several high-level policy makers from around the world including Ms. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norwegian Minister of International Development. In a keynote speech she said she was encouraged by IMO’s scaling up of its environmental partnership programmes to support developing countries.

“This is important to ensure the needed results in global climate action and environmental protection. It is also important to develop a sustainable ocean economy in developing countries”, she stated.

Also discussed during the event were technological and regulatory challenges facing MTCCs in Latin America and the Caribbean; and other long term IMO projects including GreenVoyage2050 implementation in Belize; GloFouling; and GHG SMART.