Every year, on September 24, the World Maritime Day is observed with an objective to highlight the crucial role of the maritime industry and to underline the importance of maritime security, environment, safety, and shipping. ‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’ is the World Maritime theme for 2020. According to the UN, this will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showcase the work that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and its Member States are undertaking to achieve targets.
70 percent of the Earth comprises water and the 30 percent of dry land. It is the inquisitive nature of humans which leads us to explore ways to utilise all channels and forms of communication. History suggests that prior to land routes, man travelled through the sea to explore the world and reconnoitre how maritime activities can be fruitful for humans. Certainly, with the passage of time, when territorial waters were identified and sea routes to many states were explored, it generated clashes and disputes regarding the distribution of resources and the thirst to control each other. In modern day history, Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Naval Strategist, suggested that, “Whoever rules the waves, rules the world” thus highlighting the importance of sea power and the maritime domain.
The IMO has devised a strategy and regulatory framework to give a boost to the shipping industry and have a sustainable future. In this regard, IMO has adopted and will continue to develop measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter, improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information, meet the challenges of the digitisation of shipping and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community.
Originally published by Nation