World Maritime Day: MARPOL at 50
There are many sectors in the world that create an impact on day-to-day living, and extensively the entire planet, one such is the maritime sector.
It is therefore important that we spotlight the impact of the maritime sector and its contribution to human society to commemorate World Maritime Day this year.
The idea for this international day centers around "highlighting the maritime industry's contribution towards the world economy, especially in shipping."
The maritime sector's impact on the economy, also known as the Blue Economy, is a big contributor to the economy of the world, and our daily living, from the importation of our food items, to other conventional and convenient essentials we use.
The International Chamber of Shipping reports that "each year, the shipping industry transports nearly 2 billion tons of crude oil, 1 billion tons of iron ore, and 350 million tons of grain." It is asserted that such shipments would not be possible by other means of transportation, such as road, rail, or air.
However, with great power, comes great responsibility and in turn, great consequences. The adverse impact of this great deal of shipments is the pollution that ensues as a result.
The maritime industry, however, recognizes this con, and in response is hosting the 2023 World Maritime Day to address this issue, as well as call out stakeholders to participate.
The year's theme is "MARPOL at 50: Our Commitment Goes On."
MARPOL 73/78, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, is the Convention of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which addresses the prevention of Maritime Pollution.
For 5 decades, MARPOL's commitment to curbing water and environmental pollution in their attempt to synergize SDG Goals 7, Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 9, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Goals 13 and 14, Climate Action and Sustainable use of the Oceans, Seas, and Marine Resources, and Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals, has been eminent.
In that vein, this year's maritime day, while buttressing and reflecting on how deeply this commitment goes to the cause of promoting safe shipping for maritime, has now metamorphosed into sustainable development of the industry, an industry where the blue economy collaborates with the Green Economy to cushion the harm done to the ecosystem.
Since the maritime industry is crucial to the world's economy and everyday living, it can never be scrapped out of human living, and therefore we cannot overlook the necessity of having maritime measures to be sustainable, secure, and efficient so it does not just hinge on being necessary, but also safe for the planet.
The world relies on the maritime industry but also relies on the lesser harmful effects of it. They have to go hand-in-hand, and it is great to honor this day and have these conversations on the safest ways in the ecosystem. This day only emphasizes that we should pay more attention to the world around us, and be active citizens of the world.
What will you be doing differently to contribute to a healthier sea world?
Take a peek at some statistics on how shipping shapes the world's economy
Read about the idea behind the International Maritime Day 2023
Learn more about the impact of pollution on the Global Marine Ecosystem
Read about the United Nations Plastic Treaty, a possible game changer in the fight to curb plastic pollution
Read about the plastic treaty negotiations that happened in Paris!
Pay attention to safer methods of waste disposal and recycling
Raise awareness about water pollution and protecting the environment
Sign petitions that hold your governments accountable and ensure the protection of our waterways!
WRITTEN BY Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest.
Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest is a writer, reader, serial volunteer, and a few more things in between. She is passionate about writing and speaking on social education, for children, teenagers, and young adults because she believes 'our psyche is our life'. She tests hurtful societal stereotypes and hopes to change them, ten words at a time. When she's not writing, reading, or volunteering she's trying to figure out life and living, overthinking, or speaking messy Spanish and pretending that she's an actress.
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EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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