BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): This year’s World Maritime Day, themed ‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’, is apt. It ties closely to the United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of which this year marks the beginning of a decade of action and delivery.
This agenda is a call to action for people, and prosperity while protecting the planet.
These were highlighted by Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Abdul Mutalib Mohd Yusof in his message to mark the occasion.
The message further said, in Brunei Darussalam’s context especially in maritime and shipping, this means developing strategies to build economic growth, creating job opportunities and ensuring safety for all.
“This is while we keep our supply chain connectivity open during this pandemic and also for Covid-19 recovery.
“Building economic growth goes hand in hand with new maritime and port related businesses. This will create new job opportunities. The Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) 2025 sets the target to establish three new maritime and port related businesses in the maritime and port sector by 2025.
“Meanwhile, maintaining high safety standards in transport is one the key objectives under MTIC 2025 and, through the Maritime and Ports Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD), it aims to implement corrective actions and close the audit findings by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) by 2025.
“The last decade has seen an increase in the fishing industry and fishing activities by small vessels with 200 registrations of fishing vessels every year.
“This recent development poses a growing challenge to ensure these vessels especially small boats operate safely at sea. Increasing incidents over the last year indicate the need to address this issue urgently.
“MPABD in cooperation with agencies is working to address the issues in providing information such as weather warnings and maritime safety information, ensuring the crew operating the vessels are equipped with valid certificates of competency, as well as technology that provides effective platform for communication as well as emergency response.
“Technology needs to be complemented with effective and efficient response in any emergency such as a well-coordinated search and rescue by relevant stakeholders.
"MPABD has conducted maritime safety exercises and will continue to test its emergency protocols by expanding the exercises with cooperation of our neighbouring country.
“Without a doubt, we have a substantial list of initiatives and action plans to be implemented by 2025. It is encouraging to note that the resilience of the global maritime sector, shipping and port, will play a key role in mitigating the unprecedented effects of the global pandemic, and that we remain strong in our pursuit to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
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