Marseille, June 25th 2019

The third edition of the MEDports Forum was organized by the MEDports Association in Marseille on June 25th 2019 in the Hangar J1. This year, the theme of discussion focused on How Mediterranean port authorities can proactively face the environmental challenge?, one of the biggest issues nowadays.

The third edition of the MEDports Forum was organized by the MEDports Association in Marseille on June 25th 2019 in the Hangar J1. This year, the theme of discussion focused on How Mediterranean port authorities can proactively face the environmental challenge?, one of the biggest issues nowadays.

Opening session

The forum officially started with the welcome speeches. First, the Member of the Executive Committee of the MEDports association, Chantal Helman (Head of Finance and Administration of the Port of Marseille Fos), followed by Vice-president Francesco Di Majo (President of Civitavecchia Port Authority), and concluded by Martine Vassal (President of Aix-Marseille Metropolis and President of the Bouches-du-Rhône County Council), who thanked all the Mediterranean ports for their involvement. Therefore, international collaboration is a key to make ports respectful of the environment while ensuring competitiveness and economic efficiency.

Session 1

The opening session welcomed Patricia Ricard (President of the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute), who greatly explained the crucial role of the ocean and the biodiversity for a balanced climate. According to her, one solution for today’s environmental challenge is to replicate the biodiversity’s action to help the whole ecosystem.

Professor Hercules Haralambides (Dalian University in China and the Texas A&M University, USA) focused on international maritime transport showing the audience the Research’s work he made on the Belt & Road Initiative, such as the links between ports worldwide. Pr. Haralambides also explained how its work on data will soon show the “meaningful port partnerships” like the MEDports Association.

The first session then welcomed the co-Chairman of the Sustainability Committee of MEDports, Raul Cascajo. He focused on the 3 main topics of work for the MEDports: waste management, air quality and emissions, and energy transition.

Then, Océane Rignault (Environment Policy Representative for the French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition) explained the simulated impacts and the results of the study on the implementation of an ECA zone in the Mediterranean Sea.

Regina Asariotis, (Chief Policy and Legislation Section at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD), focused on the climate variability and change showing the huge potential costs associated with inaction. The UNCTAD is studying the direct and indirect impact of climate change for maritime transport, as part of their work, the example of the survey made on port risk management and adaptation.

Paul Tourret (Director of the Superior Institute of Maritime Economy, ISEMAR) underlined the strong social pressure for which the port’s response must be adapted. He showed that ports have solutions to succeed in the challenge of coping with business competition with their intermodal capacities by taking into account the green shipping.

Isabelle Ryckbost (Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation, ESPO) showed to the audience the top 10 environmental priorities of European ports made for 2018 and emphasized on MEDports and ESPO’s great collaboration, expressing her confidence that the two organizations will find sustainable solutions for ports.

Finally, Silke Brocks (Advisor to the European Coordinator) presented the Motorways of the Sea dedicated to facilitate intra-EU trade as well as maritime links, thanks to the European Union’s involvement.

Right before the lunch break, Christine Cabau-Woehrel (President of Euromaritime Event 2020 and Executive Vice-President Assets in CMA CGM), Jean-Marie Biette (General Secreaty Infomer) and Hugues Du Plessis d’Argentré (CEO of Sogena Gican) presented the Euromaritime Event of 2020 that will be held in Marseille, reuniting the Mediterranean stakeholders of the maritime transport.

Session 2

In the afternoon, session 2 focused on innovative greener logistics solutions for ports, with Antonis Michail (Project Coordinator of the World Port Sustainability Award at the International Association of Ports and Harbors, IAPH), introduced to the audience the IAPH’s WPSP port projects and initiatives, for instance the Environmental Ship Index which is a tool of incentives for ports.

Afri Esaie Kouassi (Chief Projects Officer for the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa, PMAWCA / AGPAOC) pointed out the common issues between African ports and Medports and the need for cooperation to find sustainable and innovative solutions for ports.

Xavier Leclercq (Vice-President of CMA Ships) and Beniamino Maltese (Chief Financial Officer of Costa Cruises), presented the solutions already implemented by CMA Ships and Costa Cruise. They emphasized on their commitment to emission reduction and the fleet changes they are making for the future.

Professor Alaa Morsy, (Vice Dean at the Port Training Institute, PTI, of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, AASTMT), presented the adhesion of the AASTMT as an Associate Member of the MEDports Association and looked forward for the fruitful collaboration between the two organizations.

Session 3

Last but not least, session 3 discussed the smart port as a work tool of innovation towards impact reduction, with the Chairman of the Smartport Committee of MEDports, Stéphane Reiche.

Christophe Reynaud (IT and Logistics Consultant for Marseille Gyptis International, MGI) presented the Data Mare Nostrum’s project launched with the Smartport Committee regarding Cargo Community System and data in MEDports.

Roberto Bernacchi (Grid Interties Global Product Manager for ABB), presented the opportunities and challenges of the shore-to-ship power’s solution in order for ports to become better sustainable transportation hubs. He demonstrated the economic and environmental benefits of it.

Professor Ahmed Youssef (Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, AASTMT) presented the blockchain technology as an innovative tool for smart ports and its advantages of use.

Martin de Maupeou (Consultant for CEIS) defined the challenge for the smart port by underlining the cybersecurity challenge for ports, as indeed cyber threats and cyber-attacks in the maritime sector should not be underestimated.

Finally, Jalal Benhayoun (Chief Executive Officer of PortNet) presented the PortNet’s Moroccan national single window to facilitate procedures in international trade. He showed hhow PortNet is developing innovative tools for companies, working with all the maritime stakeholders, to improve digital collaboration.

The General Secretaries, Philippe Guillaumet and Luca Lupi, as well as GS’s staff Valérie Lucani, Pauline Deleuze and Maxime Canonge, were honored to organize this successful MEDports Forum as participants expressed their congratulations for the event. The MEDports Association deeply thank all the speakers for their remarkable speeches and thank all the audience for their participation to the Forum.

MEDports Forum 2020 will take place next year on the Southern region of the Mediterranean Sea.