WMU Participates in IMO’s WIMA Asia Regional Conference on Promoting Women's Advocacy for Domestic Ferry Safety
The recent spate of accidents involving domestic ferries in Asia has led further attention of various stakeholders to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) focus on domestic ferry safety. In April 2015, the Conference on the Enhancement of Safety of Ships Carrying Passengers on Non-International Voyages was held in Manila, Philippines where Professor Jens Schröder-Hinrichs of WMU participated as a technical expert.
Echoing this effort, the Women in Maritime Asia (WIMA-Asia) Regional Conference on Promoting Women's Advocacy for Domestic Ferry Safety was held between 21-25 September 2015, hosted by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Women in Maritime Philippines Association (WIMAPHIL), in collaboration with IMO and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea.
Approximately 120 participants gathered for the event. There were 40 foreign delegates from 20 countries in the Asia and Pacific regions, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam as well as IMO and WMU representatives. Among these national representatives, several WMU alumni played key roles in discussions including Assistant Professor Sohyun Jo (M.Sc. 2010 MSEA), Korea Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Technology, Republic of Korea; Mrs. Mandana Mansoorian (M.Sc. 2010 MSEA), Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran to IMO, Islamic Republic of Iran; Ms. May Soe Aung (M.Sc. 1992 MET(N)), Department of Marine Administration, Myanmar; Mrs. Jabeth Dacanay (M.Sc. 2003 MA), Deputy Executive Director, MARINA, Philippines; and Dr. Maximo Mejia (M.Sc. 1994 MSA(N)), Administrator, MARINA, Philippines. In addition, there were 34 female cadets from three local maritime schools as well as 41 local delegates.
Mr. Nicolaos L. Charalambous, Director of the IMO Technical Cooperation Division (TCD), emphasized the importance of women's contribution to domestic ferry safety in the region. Mrs. Pamela Tansey, Senior Deputy Director of IMO TCD encouraged the delegates to make use of regional networks such as WIMA-Asia to support their efforts in the maritime industry. Mr. Milhar Fuazudeen, Head, Maritime Training and Human Element of IMO, addressed the relevance of the human element to the agenda and how maritime education and training can advance safety standards of domestic ferries. WMU was represented by Dr. Momoko Kitada, Assistant Professor, who presented a paper on e-learning as a tool to promote inclusive and equitable learning opportunities in order for more women to contribute to domestic ferry safety.
The conference adopted 'The WIMA Asia 2015: A Pledge to Action' and 'Action Plan' to urge all stakeholders to recognize the shortcomings of present systems that continue to endanger the lives of passengers and crew in domestic voyages.