The importance of shipping services in sustaining island economies regardless of the covid-19 global pandemic was highlighted last week during celebrations to mark World Maritime Day in Honiara.
This year’s theme is “sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”.
The occasion last week was attended by officials from the maritime administration, government officers from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, representatives from Solomon Islands Ports Authority, Maritime Academy, ship operators and seafarers.
In a statement, the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) Director, Thierry Nervale said this year’s theme reminds us of the positive impact of the shipping sector across several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include no poverty, zero hunger, sustainable cities and communities, economic growth, and profitable industries and infrastructure.
Nervale also reiterated the need for the shipping sector to realize its obligation to uphold gender equality and to provide more opportunities for women and girls.
Nervale further added that shipping from international to rural levels are undergoing transformative reforms to meet the targets of sustainable use of our ocean, prevent all pollutions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which is responsible for climate change.
The SIMA director also reiterated that despite of the negative impacts of COVID 19 all over the world, seafarers are amongst the frontliners continuing to provide transportation service.
Thierry Nervale also echoed the importance of the theme “sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” and its relevance to Solomon Islands.
He highlighted that Solomon Islands has a very large area of ocean covering 1.6 million square kilometers and in that area are more than 300 ships carrying Solomon Islands flag. 129 ships are responsible for transporting passengers and goods to more than 350 islands scattered everywhere.
According to Nervale, there are more than 600 international ships gracing our Ports facilities and thousands of small boats across the country.
Nervale stated that the establishment of the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority by government is to ensure that SIMA is executing its plans to make necessary changes and improvement to the maritime industry.
“At SIMA we see 2020 as the cornerstone of A transformative decade of safety at sea, resilient and clean maritime transport services and mobility in Solomon Islands which the vision adopted in the SIMA Corporate Plan 2020-2023”, the SIMA director emphasized.
He added that SIMA aims to work together with shipping operators to build and create the right environment for modern and profitable shipping services- services to be safe, resilient and clean.
“At SIMA we are resolved to use 2020 and the World Maritime Day theme to build Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet in Solomon Islands”, Nervale concluded.