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"Sustainable Development: IMO's contribution beyond Rio+20"
Message from the Minister of Transport Honourable Stephen Cadiz
to commemorate World Maritime Day 2013
World Maritime Day is observed annually by the international maritime community to heighten the awareness worldwide of the integral role of the shipping industry in
the global transportation network and the goals and objectives of the International Maritime Organizations (IMO)
This year World Maritime Day 2013 is being celebrated on Thursday 26th September with the theme "Sustainable Development: IMO's contribution beyond
Rio+20". It focuses on three dimensions of sustainable development, namely the economic, environmental and social. These are equally important in the movement
of goods by the Maritime Transportation System. The challenge lies in how these can be translated equitably and fairly across the chain of actors in order to make the
whole System sustainable.
International shipping transports over 90% of global trade to people and communities throughout the world. Therefore the shipping industry must constantly strive to
improve its procedures and be prepared to adapt to changing regulatory international compliance requirements.
Over the years, the Ministry of Transport has devoted its energies to promoting safe and secure shipping and preservation of the marine environment from ship gen-
erated pollution. This has facilitated efficient commerce through the development, application and enforcement of national and international standards via shipping
Recently the Ministry of Transport held a stakeholder consultation on the amendment of the Shipping Act of 1987, to include new and amended international instru-
ments. This will ensure compliance with international standards relating to the facilitation of maritime traffic, the safety and security of life and property at sea and the
safety of navigation.
The Ministry has also embarked on a number of initiatives to promote the sustainable development of the maritime industry. These include:
1. The establishment of a committee to develop and implement a national maritime policy and action plan for the sustainable development of the maritime sector,
presently under the consideration of Cabinet.
2. Legislative reform - including the development and updating of legislation pertaining to safety and security of ships and of life at sea, efficiency of navigation, and
the prevention and control of marine and air pollution from ships. The reform also includes the establishment of a Maritime Authority.
3. Maritime traffic support and advisory system - A Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) within the waters of Trinidad and Tobago that will allow identification
and monitoring of vessels, strategic planning of vessel movements and provision of navigational information and assistance.
4. A Single Electronic Window within an e-maritime system in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment. This automated system will simplify
ship arrival and departure procedures and prevent delays, thus reducing turn-around times.
5. The establishment of an Open Ship Registry in Trinidad and Tobago. This will facilitate expansion of our Registry, increased national tonnage by foreign ship
owners, thereby resulting in increased revenue.
6. Expansion of additional port facilities in south-western Trinidad that will benefit of all stakeholders in the industry.
7. Education, training, certification and welfare of seafarers - pursuing IMO recognition for certification of Trinidad and Tobago officers under the STCW (Standards
of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) convention; and support for the International Labour Organization Conventions, including the ratification of the
Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 which makes provision for the welfare of seafarers.
8. The continued partnership, collaboration and cooperation with IMO on:
- Ballast Water Management project to reduce and possibly eradicate the transfer of alien invasive species through ships ballast water exchange;
- IMO funded feasibility study on the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative ships fuel for short sea and coastal shipping in the Wider
Caribbean involving the inter-island ferries and domestic water taxis.
The Ministry of Transport joins the national community, particularly the Maritime Industry in celebrating World Maritime Day. In keeping with this year's theme, the
Government remains committed to transitioning to a greener economy evolving around the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
The sustainable development goals of the Rio+20 Conference has to be further developed and will focus on several issues concerning transportation, particularly:
- To raise the profile of maritime transport and highlight why maritime transport is a fundamental element in achieving a more sustainable world;
- To discuss a concept of a Sustainable Maritime Transportation System (SMTS); and
- To identify the various imperatives or goals that must be met to implement a Sustainable Maritime Transport System and the activities that will need to be
undertaken to achieve them-possibly requiring actions by the relevant bodies and various maritime stakeholders.
On the occasion of World Maritime Day, I wish to underscore the commitment of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to continue to encourage and support the
achievement and maintenance of the sustainable development of the Maritime Transport System focusing on economic, social and environmental needs. This can only
become a reality through cooperation, coordination and consultation between and among all stakeholders including national and international public and private inter-
ests and international organizations.
The Honourable Stephen Cadiz
Minister of Transport
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