DOMESTIC ship safety and technical support to ship operators and maritime administrations is the focus of the South Pacific Community,an official says.
SPC Deputy Director, Ocean sand Maritime, Thierry Nervale,said SPC was the lead coordinating agency for the implementation of the Framework for Action on Transport Services, with support from Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and International Maritime Organisation (IMO). He said the SPC has implemented a fruitful partnership with the IMO since 2002 that was endlessly improving its delivery and has evolved throughout the years.
It has also had the support of an IMO Technical Cooperation Officer with SPC.
Nervale was speaking during the week long events of the third Domestic Ship Safety Forum, the Regional Conference for Pacific Women in Maritime and the Regional Workshop on ISM Code in Port Moresby last week.
He said the aim of the week long forum was to support safe shipping to protect safety of life and environment and:-
- Acknowledge the Pacific region’s progress and reaffirm our commitments towards safer domestic shipping;
- Acknowledge the latest development sand commitments for gender equality in maritime and decide on more actions and support to Women in Maritime.
He said SPC has conducted major reforms in recent years to remain fit-for-purpose and continuously improve its services to its country members.
“We deliver a wide range of expertise and technical services.
We have recently established the Geoscience Energy and Maritime(GEM) Division with three programmes:Oceans and Maritime;Georesources and Energy; and Disaster and Community Resilience.
“I am the Deputy Director of Gem Division and responsible for the Oceans and Maritime Programme,which aims at providing a more integrated programming approach of all technical services related to ocean and maritime governance, sustainable maritime transport and safe navigation,ocean prediction and ocean and maritime capacity development,”he said.
He said SPC and its partners could do more to assist countries in this area, but needed to work out how the SPC could collectively address some of the persistent issues in the region that still allow some ship operators to operate unseaworthy vessels or overcrowded,overloaded, non-fit-for-purpose ships.
“We all know that should the Pacific be provided with brand new vessels, we would still experience overloaded ships or oceanic voyages finishing on the reef. This is the reality recalled to us too regularly that put at risk our communities ’life at sea.”
Some areas of concern include:
- Safety of passengers and cargo at sea and pollution prevention is the primary responsibility of the ship operator who must have safety management as core of its business
- Maritime administrations must be independent entities with regard to safety and act transparently,be accountable and make decisions based on the rule of law
- Domestic shipping and maritime administrations must be led and managed by qualified and competent professionals applying best practices and code of conduct
- An enabling environment must be created in the Pacific region for the operations of ship that are fit-for-purpose, are maintained and carry on board all required safety equipment.
“We have made progress in some areas but we have persistent issues in some others.”He thanked the Transport and Infrastructure Minister for the opportunity given to SPC and IMO to organise these event sand also thank IMO for its support now and in the future.
He also thanked the National Maritime Safety Authority(NMSA)in domestic shipping safety and in supporting women in maritime.