WMU Builds Transformative Partnerships
On 8 and 9 May the World Maritime University hosted the WMU Global Ocean Conference 2018 as part of its 35th anniversary celebrations that included the inauguration of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute. The Conference was attended by over 250 participants including the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society. The event offered an independent platform for the exchange of ideas and fruitful discussions addressing challenges facing our ocean.
The ocean is the common heritage of humankind, and calls for common action. It plays a key role as a climate regulator, as support for food security and human health and as an engine for economic growth. Pressure due to overexploitation, pollution, increasing human activities and climate change undermines the vital role of the ocean in the world’s economies and societies and risks destroying life-sustaining ecosystems. Good governance, nationally, regionally and globally, is required to deliver on the commitments made in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular SDG 14 focused on the sustainable use of the ocean.
In the margins of the WMU 35th anniversary celebrations and the ocean events, WMU engaged with key partners to develop new transformative partnerships as well as deepen several successful collaborations. Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, hailed the signing of seven Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and emphasized the importance of external engagement and outreach for the University saying: “Maritime and ocean matters are interconnected and require coordinated, strategic and joint responses as well as actions to deliver on our commitment to implement the UN 2030 Agenda. The Global Ocean Conference theme of ‘building transformative partnerships’ applies not only to the ocean, but also to maritime, marine, ports, environmental, economic, and social concerns in areas that are transboundary and supra-national in nature. We look forward to working with our partners who play a vital role in supporting us to fulfill the University’s mission and vision.”
Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed with seven partners on 8 and 9 May 2018.
The MOU between WMU and the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW) was signed on 8 May. The MOU provides an important legal framework that will enable new linkages between the Parties in the field of maritime education as well as research and innovation, including, but not limited to, the exchange of expertise in the field of maritime safety and security. Under the MOU, the University is committed to providing expertise in support of joint scientific and technological research projects and to the organization of joint workshops and seminars. Rear Admiral (lh) Christian Bock, German Navy, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters stated, "Maritime Security and Safety is at the heart of our business at the COE CSW, and therefore we are particularly happy and grateful for linking up with the World Maritime University. WMU offers academic expertise in both areas, and can shed light on topics, to which we had some, but still limited access up to now. So we are looking forward to the future cooperation for the sake of a safer maritime domain.“
On 8 May, WMU and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) signed a collaboration through which SwAM provides funding to WMU in support of the University’s work regarding achievement of Goal 6 relating to clean water and sanitation, Goal 14 relating to the ocean and Goal 15 related to biodiversity loss. Jakob Granit, Director General of (SwAM) commented on the MOU saying,“The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management looks forward to a deeper cooperation with the World Maritime University with the mutual ambition to increase the knowledge about sustainable ocean management, science and the blue economy. WMU in Malmö is a unique institution connecting experts from all parts of the world, creating a global knowledge hub on Ocean management. We are happy to participate in this common learning process to share Swedish experiences and knowledge on managing water and natural resources from Source to Sea.”
Also on 8 May, the long-standing partnership between WMU and the City of Malmö was further strengthened with the signing of an MOU. It recognizes the City of MaImö as an important hub for bringing national and international academia, industry and civil society together enabling both the City of Malmö and WMU, to cooperate closely in support of Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and on Goal 14 with a focus on the ocean in the framework of the new Global Ocean Institute. The signing ceremony of this MOU, by the President of WMU, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry and Ms Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, was attended by Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO) and WMU Chancellor, Ms. Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden, Dr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, The Nippon Foundation and Professor Ronan Long, Director, WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, World Maritime University.
The Dirección General de Capitanías y Guardacostas (DICAPI) and WMU signed on 8 May an Addendum to the existing MOU with DICAPI, extending the latter’s collaboration areas to oceanographic studies and research. Vice Admiral Manuel Váscones Morey, General Director Captaincies and Coastguard National Maritime Authority noted, “This new phase in our ‘transformation partnership’ will allow Peru to improve its ocean research capability and will allow us to share with the global community our joint knowledge and experiences.”
Since 2005, the Master of Science programme in Maritime Safety and Environmental Management (MSEM) has been delivered by WMU in Dalian, China in collaboration with Dalian Maritime University (DMU). On 8 May, in acknowledgement of the success and important strategic role of the programme, President Doumbia-Henry and Dr. Sun Yuqing, President of DMU, ensured the continuation of the fruitful collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Agreement on the MSc Degree in Maritime Safety and Environmental Management.
On 9 May, WMU and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) deepened inter-institutional relations with the signing of an MOU. This MOU provides a valuable framework that allows both Parties to consolidate, develop and detail their cooperation and to further their shared goals and objectives in regard to fisheries and ocean management for the purpose of promoting sustainable and productive oceans. Dr. Manuel Barange, Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, noted, “The FAO and WMU have been collaborating for over 20 years. This MOU recognizes the need to step up our common leadership in the promotion of sustainable and productive oceans that contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty.”
Also on 9 May, WMU and the International Labour Office (ILO) signed an MOU establishing a joint cooperation mechanism for the implementation of actions in areas of common interest. In particular, it foresees a collaboration in the area of post-graduate education in seafarers’ training and education, labour governance and management, seafarers’ and fishers’ rights, fishing vessel safety, security and the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals. Under the new MOU, WMU will provide full support for the ratification and implementation of a number of ILO maritime, ports and fishing Conventions and Recommendations, including the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended and the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188). In addition to technical support, the MOU envisages collaboration in promoting women in the maritime sector and addressing the gender gap in the shipping, fishing, and port sectors. Brandt Wagner, Head of the Transport and Maritime Unit, Sectoral Policies Department noted on behalf of ILO that “the MOU recognizes that the ILO is the lead organization supporting the achievement of sustainable development Goal 8 of the UNSDGs, which aims to promote sustained and inclusive and sustainable development economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The agreement between the ILO and WMU will enhance our ability to achieve decent work at sea and in all sectors associated with the ocean.”
All agreements the University enters into are carefully considered according to strategic engagement criteria that ensure the resulting partnerships are mutually beneficial and transformative for all parties concerned. Developing and maintaining strategic partnerships is a core element of the University’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023 to ensure a coherent approach and impact-oriented engagement with the University’s strategic partners.