World maritime theme 2023 commitment to the environment. “MARPOL at 50 – Our Commitment Continues” has been selected as the next theme for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Theme 2023, which will culminate in the celebration of World Maritime Day on September 28 next year.
As explained, the theme reflects the organization’s long history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping through a strong regulatory framework and emphasizes its continued commitment to this important work.
The theme highlights the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which covers the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
“Much has changed in shipping in the 50 years since the MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973, and IMO’s commitment to protecting and preserving the marine environment has remained unwavering. The World Maritime Theme for 2023 will allow us to celebrate this legacy, while underscoring our dedication to building on the existing foundation as we move forward together towards a brighter future,” said IMO Secretary-General and WMU alumnus ( World Maritime University), Kitack Lim.
“Our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is critical and, given the urgency of the climate crisis, we must act now to strengthen our ambitions on this issue. We must also address other issues, including biodiversity protection, biofouling, the transfer of invasive species, and plastic and noise pollution. Protecting the marine environment requires shared action and I look forward to what the next 50 years will bring,” he added.
The theme, which promotes discussions on the next phase of IMO’s work to further protect the planet and oceans, is also linked to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). . These include clean and affordable energy (SDG 7); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources (SDG 13 and 14); and the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals (SDG 17).
The IMO Council, meeting for its 127th Session, approved the item following a proposal by the IMO Secretary-General.
The Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967, the largest oil disaster at the time, was one of the key moments that led to the development of the MARPOL Convention. The 1970s saw increased global awareness of the need to protect the marine environment from all sources of pollution, subsequently resulting in the adoption of the MARPOL Convention and MARPOL Protocol of 1978 in 1973 and 1978, respectively.
The combined instrument entered into force on October 2, 1983. MARPOL 73/78 is the most important international instrument covering the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. In 1997, a protocol addressing the prevention of air pollution from ships was adopted and entered into force on May 19, 2005.
Today, MARPOL covers pollution of the sea by oil, noxious liquid substances in bulk, noxious substances in packages, ship sewage and ship litter, ship air pollution, and energy efficiency regulation.
It also allows the adoption of special areas with even stricter controls on operational discharges. The convention has evolved over the years. Some highlights include the requirements for oil/water separators on ships, the phasing out of single-hull tankers in 2010, the establishment of several special areas, including the Antarctic zone, the introduction of the United States Audit Scheme IMO Members (IMSAS) mandatory in all MARPOL annexes, the introduction of the IMO global sulfur limit for 2020 and the adoption of technical and operational measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships.
The adoption of the IMO’s initial Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy in 2018 to decarbonise the sector as soon as possible before the end of this century has set the policy framework for further development and action within MARPOL. to improve the energy efficiency of ships.
Last year, IMO announced the World Maritime Theme for 2022: “New Technologies for Greener Shipping”. The theme reflects the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector towards a sustainable future, leaving no one behind.
Source: World Maritime News