Crew Connect Global and COP27




The Manila Times

Maritime And Logistics

TWO recent international events held separately and in different places underscored the importance of working together toward the same goal if that goal has to do with saving the planet. The anticipated shortage of seafarers was a recurring theme during the recent Crew Connect Global, the world’s biggest manning event, held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila, attended by some of the biggest names in the shipping industry. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista graced the opening ceremony and struck a hopeful note with an outlook on maritime trade and its efforts to remain an effective “Maritime Capital of the World.” Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), described the looming shortage as a “huge challenge,” citing the latest ICS/Bimco study that we shall be facing a shortage of 96,000 seafarers by 2026. “That’s certified officers we’re going to be short of, so that’s something that we need to embrace,” Platten added. To further complicate the situation, the move to alternative lowand zero-carbon fuels would mean training up to 800,000 seafarers by the mid-2030s to be able to use alternative fuels safely. This was disclosed by a study commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force. The Maritime Just Transition Task Force was established during COP26 in November 2021 to support a just and human-centered decarbonization of the shipping industry. It was formed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) along with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the United Nations Global Compact and the International Labour Organization (ILO). At the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27), the Task Force launched a ten-point action plan to upskill seafarers and meet shipping’s decarbonization goals. This measure has to be taken to mitigate the effects of another looming issue: the climate crisis. Seafarers adequately trained in the use of alternative fuels and other aspects of ocean and environment protection mean a safer, cleaner sea, showing us how interconnected everything is. Also highlighted at Crew Connect Global was the “extreme lack of diversity in the seafaring workforce,” of which only 2 percent are women. Andreas Nordseth, director general of the Danish Maritime Authority, told the conference that diversity is better for safety, retention, and a wide range of factors. Platten agreed, saying, “It’s a disgrace really that only 2 percent of our workforce is women. And we’re just missing out so much talent and with the digitalization, with technologies, with all that’s happening, we’ve got a golden opportunity to change that.” It is important to remember that this is not just political correctness. As Jesse Jackson once said, “Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions and outcomes. That’s what we lose when we fail to be inclusive. In a related development, during the side event hosted by the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) in COP27, civil society representatives from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Madagascar and Malawi as well as youth delegates talked about climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) and the recently launched Global Shield against Climate Risks of the V20 Group of Finance Ministers and the Group of 7 (G7). Angelo Kairos de la Cruz, deputy executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities or ICSC, noted that a new level of confidence has been reached, with the new partnerships that have been forged. “We are quite excited that we have new partners in the legislature. We have new partners working in the private sector. “We have national governments interested in CDRFI and how they can help in MAP implementation. We are confident despite the challenges and the failures, we can just move forward, and a lot of that moving forward will reside in the new partnerships that we’re able to create. The new partnerships will push us closer to where we want to be and I’m saying that not only for the MAP implementing team but for the whole region, if not for the whole Global Shield.” With President Marcos Jr.’s clear instructions to do everything possible to preserve our position as the seafaring capital of the world, we look forward to having a strong legislative agenda and overall government support toward the steady and full development of a blue economy for the Philippines.