AIVP presents the concept of “port centres” to Indian ports
Organised by Mercator Media, the first edition of GreenPort South Asia, in Bombay, brought together around one hundred delegates from India, South-East Asia and Europe. AIVP was an associate in the initiative. At the event, Greta Marini, responsible for studies in AIVP, has presented the concept of “Port Centres”, with particular emphasis on societal integration strategies for ports and the relationship with the citizens of port-cities.
The Indian port authorities proved especially receptive to this concept, which responds to an emerging local problem faced by India. Thus in Bombay itself, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) hopes to develop a more sustainable relationship with the city’s inhabitants and the community of people who work in or live near the port. The port authorities in Bombay are proposing a massive development plan for their activities, increasing capacity to 20 million TEU by 2020. The port currently handles 4.3 million TEU. The port authorities have therefore stated their intention of joining the group, particularly in consideration of their strong environmental policy, oriented towards biodiversity protection. JNPT–Bombay is the only Indian port to have gained certification under ISO 14001 (international environmental certification), in 2004, and under OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series), in 2007. The port’s aim is to conserve an area of 900ha as a green zone, one third of the total area under port authority management. The area already includes several fruit tree plantations, notably of mangoes and coconuts. Better still, 300ha are mangrove swamps which are maintained and protected because they offer an irreplaceable habitat for the protection of very diverse flora and fauna, and of local fishing resources.
This step towards sustainable development implemented by JNPT should also be perceived as an example which will increase citizen sensitivity to the environment. JNPT hopes to go further in future and interact directly with the community by explaining to citizens the essential role of the port for the Bombay region from the environmental and economic angles. The principles defined in the “Port Centre” concept are an appreciable contribution to this aim. They are based on the idea of making port activities more transparent through education and information campaigns. Contacts have been established with JNPT–Bombay to work on the subject with AIVP.
Meanwhile, carrying on the work started by GreenPort ten years ago, the participants discussed local and global environmental challenges for ports and have exchanged good practices. The conference showed that there are already many of these established in Indian ports. Projects were presented for implementing very effective environmental management systems, like that implemented by Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) in the Port of Mundra (Guajarat) which is expected to reduce the port’s impact on the environment considerably by 2020. A daily monitoring system allows very precise air and water quality indicators to be checked. It will be accompanied by large investments in new green technologies like the use of high pressure gas to reduce water consumption by 67% in various industrial processes, or the implementation of hybrid technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on fuel consumption.