World Maritime Theme 2023: 'MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on'

‘MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on’ is the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) World Maritime Theme for 2023, leading to its celebration on Sep 28. 

Reflecting IMO’s history and commitment to protecting the environment from the impact of shipping, the theme also spotlights the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), covering the prevention of contamination by ships’ operations or accidents.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Our work to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions is critical, and – given the urgency of the climate crisis – we must act now to strengthen our ambitions on this matter.

“We must also tackle other issues, including protecting biodiversity, biofouling, the transfer of invasive species, and plastic and noise pollution. Protecting the marine environment requires shared action and I look forward to what the next 50 years will bring,” he added.

The theme is linked to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

These goals include affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources (SDGs 13 and 14); and the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals (SDG 17).

MARPOL today covers a range of marine pollution, such as sewage and garbage, air pollution, and the regulation of energy efficiency.

“We must also tackle other issues, including protecting biodiversity, biofouling, the transfer of invasive species, and plastic and noise pollution. Protecting the marine environment requires shared action and I look forward to what the next 50 years will bring,” said Mr Lim

Evolving over the years, the convention enforced limits on sulphur oxide emissions from ships in 2020. It also adopted measures to boost ships’ energy efficiency and cut carbon intensity in 2021.

 

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