Pacific transport ministers make critical decisions
Transport leaders from around the Pacific reach key decisions during summit in Nadi.
When transport ministers and officials from 18 Pacific countries met last week in Nadi they concluded a number of agreements to improve transport activities around the region.
The director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Economic Development Division, John Hogan, says some critical decisions were made, as he explained to Don Wiseman.
JOHN HOGAN: Transport knowledge management and a data sharing agreement that was agreed to by the countries, and it basically reaffirms the importance of access to data, especially accurate and reliable data for informed decision making and policies. The next one was the seafarer training certification and watchkeeping, the new standard for seafarer training. They came into force in the middle of last year, but everyone must be compliant by January 2017. Domestic ship safety in the Pacific was a big one, and the ministers agreed that the need to implement safety management systems on domestic ships was one of key priorities. Hydrographic services, and that's updating all of the maritime charts in the region, and also looking at energy efficiency and sustainable transport.
DON WISEMAN: all right. In terms of safety, what are they talking about?
JH: What they're talking about is ensuring that countries now, the shipping companies in the Pacific Island countries, implement safety management systems for all of their ships. So that's putting systems in place to ensure that there's safety equipment on board, to ensure that there's onboard training. Those sorts of issues.
DW: In terms of energy security for the Pacific, a number of key decisions were made?
JH: That's correct, yes. They talked about consolidating the Pacific regional data repository. That includes energy indicators and energy statistics on all of the Pacific Island countries. They talked about strengthening mechanisms to promote private sector involvement. They talked about efforts to maximise any energy efficiency and conservation and expand renewable energy investment. So they discussed about petroleum products and alternatives to fossil fuel. Also interestingly review and analysis and modelling of tariff within the different countries as well, and looking to see whether there could be better tariff structures that might be more appropriate to Pacific Island countries.
DW: No firm decisions on that?
JH: No, basically just making sure that the countries had tariff policies and tariff regulations in place.
DW: And that old chestnut, the bulk purchasing of fuel, came up?
JH: Well not so much as one of the key priorities over the next three years. The discussion on fuels mainly focussed on some of the new technologies and the new fuels out there like LNG, liquid natural gas, looking to shift towards some of those alternatives.
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