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THE INTERNATIONAL Maritime Organization Secretariat has initiated a project to improve the availability of maritime transport costs data for the Pacific region.

The project focuses on understanding how the shipping industry’s GHG reduction measures, such as carbon pricing instruments, may impact small island developing states and the broader Pacific region.

The IMO said the project aims to model a hypothetical increase in transport costs and a change in connectivity patterns to understand how small island developing states will be affected.

“Central to the project’s success will be its ability to identify the foundation of a system of continued monitoring and collection of data on maritime transport costs in the Pacific region,” the IMO said in a statement.

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The activity will be implemented by MTCC-Pacific, a centre of expertise established by the IMO as part of its Global Maritime Technologies Cooperation Centres Network. The MTCC network focuses on mitigating climate impacts of the maritime industry.

The project will be hosted by the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

“To ensure that the outcomes of the project are transparent and not policy prescriptive, a broad range of organisations, institutions and resources with relevant experience and expertise including UNCTAD will be involved,” the IMO said.

The project is expected to identify a potential, permanent partnership or structure for the ongoing collection and sharing of maritime transport data costs and other relevant statistics for small developing island states.

It is also expected to enhance the understanding of the determinants of maritime freight rates in the Pacific region.

The IMO said the main outcome of the project will be a study on maritime transport costs data in the region. It will be submitted to the IMO secretariat by October this year.

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