NMCI HOC Cormac Gebruers, and Halpin’s Maritime Safety and Security lead Robert Lynch took part in the Arctic Council’s 4th Meeting of the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum. The forum which was hosted by the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group (PAME), was established to support the effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), boasts active participation from major Arctic and global maritime/shipping stakeholders.
The NMCI’s and Halpin’s participation marks a global recognition of our continued engagement with the Arctic, highlighting the impact that our ongoing research efforts are having on major global themes such as global trade, maritime transport, geopolitics, international relations, and climate change. Examples of these efforts include Halpin’s two EU H2020 funded Arctic themed projects; SEDNA and ARCSAR, and our Maritime Safety and Security lead Robert Lynch being recently appointed as the Vice President of NARI (Network of Arctic Researchers in Ireland).
This year’s forum focused on a number of critical Arctic maritime shipping themes including overviews of Arctic shipping, updates from the IMO, Polar Code implementation projects, Arctic Hydrography, marine weather in the Arctic, cold water survival, SAR, and Arctic voyage planning. The forum boasted presentations from major Arctic stakeholders including representatives from the Arctic Councils PAME WG, International Maritime Organisation, International Chamber of Shipping, World Meteorological Organization, the American Bureau of Shipping, and various others. More closer to home, the forum was kicked of by Mr Michael Kingston, Managing Director of Michael Kingston Associates, a maritime lawyer and special advisor to the PAME working group. A West Cork native originally from Goleen, Mr Kingston continues to have a major impact on maritime safety and trade globally. Mr Kingston has worked extensively on a number of regulatory and mandatory safety measures such as the IMO Polar Code, and ongoing developments of Polar Water Operating Manual elements stating the following:
“We really do think that we are enhancing information for the implementation of the Polar Code for the Protection of the Arctic’s seafarers, environment, and inhabitants, through this collaborative approach. It is a pleasure to be involved with the organizing committee in working with such responsible, hard-working, and enthusiastic Forum Participants representing their organisations and members so well and it shows that, when we work together, we will always make a difference. I would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of work, skill in that work, and support of the PAME Secretariat to make this process work”