The Port of Montreal, in Canada, is committing to preserve biodiversity and the quality of water, air and the environment in several farms in the region by supporting the ALUS Montérégie environmental program. This initiative is connected to the expansion of the Contrecoeur terminal and will help to preserve ecosystems and support farmers in their efforts to protect the environment.
➜ Puerto Valparaíso Press release (PDF)
Spanish ports are increasingly investing in new programs to innovate in the port city community. On a national scale, the Ports 4.0 fund from Puertos del Estado is already open for applications including projects and ideas, with a budget of 12 million €. The port of Bilbao has already identified 40 potential projects to apply to the national fund and to be integrated in the new Bilbao Port Lab. Other Spanish ports are also developing or expanding their innovation labs. In the case of Sevilla (PDF), the port and the university signed an agreement to increase the facilities of their innovation centre to include an industrial area for prototyping and a start-up incubator. Other example is Valencia, where the port is creating with other partners the #SuperLabPorts, to focus on climate change. The port of Valencia also launched recently a program for dual vocational training in ports, in cooperation with the regional government. Other ports in Spain, such as Barcelona, have similar programs to support the growth of companies and students.
The Port Authority of Saint John will sponsor a signature gallery in the Saint John Arts Centre for the next six years. The partnership also includes a biennial artist residency where a professional artist will be selected to create original works over a period of 10 months. The residency will include an exhibition in the Port Saint John gallery in September of 2021, 2023, and 2025, focusing on the Port themes. Artists can already apply for the first period of residency.
The Port of Bahía Blanca (Argentina) has started the new online participative forums “Puerto Abierto” to establish new dialogues with the local community. The first meeting included representatives from the agricultural and food sector. The goal of the forums is to debate and align the expectations and needs from the local community with the actions of the port authority. The dialogue will be structured in three phases: diagnosis, discussion of ideas and starting the agreed projects. The participants of the future debate sessions will include representatives from the academy and scientific sector, business organizations, workers, environmental, and cultural initiatives. The final result will be a new strategic plan built from the social agreements.
Port cities host a rich biodiversity. Protecting it can bring associated positive effects, besides the obvious ones. In Tarragona (Spain), the green areas policy of the port authority is showing excellent results. These areas must reduce the water footprint, promote the biodiversity and mitigate the CO2 emissions. The port has focused on the reforestation of degraded spaces and replacing water intensive plants for others more adapted to the Mediterranean climate. Every year, these areas neutralize 1500 tons of CO2 and provide shelter for endangered species such as bees. In Ceuta (Spain), the Port Authority supports the local Sea Museum (Museo del Mar), that is responsible for studying, protecting and disclosing the local biodiversity. This institution publishes several books and magazines promoting the results of their research, for example on the impact of ships on whales and dolphins. The museum also organizes educational activities and leads projects to include coastal areas in the European networks of protected natural reserves. Additionally, it is responsible for a unique facility, the “pudridero” a facility to preserve the carcasses and collect the bones to study and learn about marine animals.