Ports are focusing more on community outreach, port-city dialogue

Community outreach and port-city dialogue are on top of ports’ agendas worldwide, according to the new World Ports Sustainability Report by the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) led by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

Author of the report and WPSP Technical Director, Dr Antonis Michail, added: “Our report concludes that community outreach and port-city dialogue are on top of ports’ agendas worldwide.  With ports being granted their license to operate and grow by their own local communities, the result is logical. 

“Climate and energy and resilient infrastructure also score relatively high, which confirms efforts motivated by external societal, political and commercial pressures to embrace decarbonization and digitalization.  It is in these two areas of interest where we also see the highest frequency of activities in terms of collaborative projects on the WPSP platform where IAPH is taking either a leading or partnering role.”

Governance and ethics and safety and security would appear to be underdeveloped areas in need of more attention, although the recent crisis caused by COVID-19 is already shifting focus of ports towards both areas of interest.  

In the recent WPSP Task Force COVID-19 guidance document for ports, an additional best practice section on humanitarian actions adopted by IAPH member ports will now be added based on the feedback of the Task Force members which go above and beyond short-term actions in response to the impact of COVID-19 on port communities.

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