The Arctic Council’s Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum (the Forum) convened for the third time since its inception in 2017, in London from 3-4 June, under Iceland Chairmanship. The aim of the Forum is to support the effective implementation of IMO’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code).
The Forum attempts to accomplish its goals by collecting and posting on a Web Portal authoritative information relevant to all those involved in safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping, including shipowners and operators, regulators, classification societies, marine insurers, and indigenous and local communities.
This year’s Forum was ‘From Theory to Practice’, and included presentations regarding practical experiences in applying the Polar Code with a specific focus on successes, impediments, and remaining challenges.
The Web Portal incorporates links to certain, reliable information important to implementing and complying with the Polar Code. Among others, there are links available for hydrographic, meteorological, and ice data information, necessary to plan for safe and environmentally sound navigation in the Arctic.
Information for the Web Portal has been contributed by many stakeholders, including Arctic States, intergovernmental organizations, classification societies, the shipping industry, marine insurers, and non-governmental organizations. The Web Portal is regularly updated and expanded as new information becomes available.
The Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum was created in 2017 by the eight Arctic States:
Its aim is to raise awareness and promote the effective implementation of the Polar Code.
The Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, opened the meeting with a video highlighting the importance of the Forum’s work and cooperation between the Forum and IMO. The importance of this collaboration was highlighted by the IMO’s recent accreditation as an Arctic Council Observer, which will further enhance the two organization’s efforts to advance sustainable Arctic shipping.
Iceland’s Sverrir Konráðsson, the Forum Chair, stated:
I am pleased to see the strong interest in the Forum and the evident commitment of its Participants to making it a success. I look forward to building on the substantial progress made to date and further strengthening the Web Portal so that it becomes an indispensable tool for all those involved in Arctic shipping