World Maritime Day is celebrated today, virtually, at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the theme “Sustainable transport for a sustainable planet”. From October 28 to 30, the side celebration event takes place in Durban, South Africa. The side event, which takes the celebration of World Maritime Day out of the IMO headquarters, was held for the first time in 2005, with Portugal being the host country.
PLATAFORMA spoke with Álvaro Sardinha, Master in Law and Economics of the Sea and founder of the platform Economy Blue, to assess the importance of safety and protection of maritime navigation, as well as maritime industries for world trade and protection of the marine environment, in a context of inclusion in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This year, World Maritime Day is celebrated today, on September 24th. How does it contribute to the protection of the planet and the marine environment in particular?
At a time when numerous dates are being celebrated associated with different themes, it is important to differentiate those linked to the protection of the marine environment. World Maritime Day, which is celebrated this year on September 24, is an initiative of the International Maritime Organization, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for global maritime transport. This event seeks to underline the importance of the shipping industry in shaping world history and its importance in global trade, highlighting the importance of safety in navigation and the protection of the marine environment, in particular by controlling pollution of the sea and the atmosphere originating in the operation of ships. It was celebrated for the first time in 1978 and the date of its realization varies, being always celebrated on the Thursday of the last week of September.
But last year was celebrated on September 26th.
Yes. World Maritime Day festivities can also take place on other days, according to the availability of governments and entities involved in the celebrations. Since 2005, a side event has also been held in an IMO member country, which this year will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 to 30 October. World Oceans Day is always celebrated on the 8th of June. It was created in 1992 during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, an event that became known as the Earth Summit and Rio 92. This event aims to draw attention to the importance of the seas and the ocean sustainability of the planet and humanity. The actions developed seek to make people aware of the impacts of human actions in the ocean, mainly through intensive fishing and pollution by residues, including plastic and generalized garbage, mobilizing the world population for their conservation. Last but not least, the International Maritime Day is celebrated on 25 June, an IMO initiative. This event aims to increase visibility about the importance of the work of seafarers (people who work on ships), thanking them for their contribution to the world economy and civil society.
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