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Implementing MARPOL in the Caribbean
May 2, 2018
By all accounts, the May 2nd conference, Implementing MARPOL in the Caribbean, was a tremendous success. As Sherice Arman stated, “All the right people to deal with this issue are in the room.” Some of our top participants wanted solid outcomes and we satisfied their request. Many thanks to Maples and Calder for their sponsorship, and to WISTA Cayman Islands for their leadership and organization efforts!
The goal of the conference was to bring together the major stakeholders in the region together on the issue of MARPOL. This was achieved with the participation by IMO, CARICOM, RAC/REMPEITC, WiMAC, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), Cayman Islands Shipping Registry and Port Authority, NAMEPA, University of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Maritime University. The event was further enhanced by the participation of WISTA Cayman Islands, the Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs as well as the Minister for Financial Services, Commerce and Environment, the Department of Environment plus the industry service providers and delegates.
The conference began with an overview of MARPOL, its importance, its history in the Caribbean and the extent of its adoption, along with the protocols for reaching governments to further its implementation. From the policy level, the conference moved to the practical utilization of MARPOL, along with the risks of non-compliance. This was followed by an in-depth view of how the cruise industry has embraced MARPOL in its practices, including its waste management policy that has been adopted by all CLIA members.
The tactical aspects of implementing MARPOL were addressed by industry service providers of emission and waste stream technologies, a guidance product on MARPOL regulations based on location, and a waste management program designed to support ship owners and countries with support.
Education was a key theme of the event. Dr. Fritz Pinnock of the Caribbean Maritime University presented the many offerings for training at the CMU, as well as the potential to establish a MARPOL Training Centre at the University. Stephan Nanan of the University of Trinidad and Tobago discussed the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre Caribbean addressing greenhouse gas emissions.
The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion designed to identify pathways forward.
Delegates offered the following:
· There is a lack of legislation to implement and enforce MARPOL
· Need to engage in lobbying efforts for maritime to be a priority for governments to demonstrate the value proposition of the marine industry
· MARPOL is important for sustainability and resilience.
· Developing partnerships is an important strategy for success
· Training and education is a critical element
· Need to eliminate barriers to implementation
· Mobilize industry to support MARPOL in the Caribbean- shipping industry must develop a singular voice which will communicate their importance and agitate governments similar to the tourism industry (including hotels)
· Amend/change approach to legislation
· Consider legislation templates that already exist – while exercising some caution as “cut and paste” may not apply
· Educate students and the public about protecting the oceans and their dependence upon maritime for their livelihood
· Supply lawmakers with data about status and risks
· Further the development and support for a MARPOL Training Institute at the Caribbean Maritime University
· Support RAC/REMPEITC and its efforts
· Examine the Caribbean MOU as a framework
· Obtain data on commercial shipping and its value to individual countries (both cruise and cargo)-
· Reach out to Caribbean Shipping Association and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to include in the workgroup
· Pursue workshop for legislation in 2017 or 2018- RAC/REMPEITC)
· Complete feasibility study on regional port reception facilities (RAC/REMPEITC)
· Support and encourage partnerships (NAMEPA, RAC/REMPEITC, WiMAC, CLIA)
· Get these MARPOL initiatives in front of the cruise industry and its members (CLIA)
· Gather information/build business case to identify required funds for building reception facilities
· Approach Caribbean Shipping Association about harmonizing port data
· WiMAC members to distribute relevant information to their legislatures
The delegates commit to supporting efforts to further the implementation of MARPOL in the Caribbean. These efforts include, but are not limited to:
· Educating the public about the maritime value proposition
· Educate students about protecting the marine environment
· Educate legislators about the economic value of the marine industry and protecting the marine environment