Jul 16, 2018 Last Updated 11:45 PM, Jul 12, 2018

THE Marshall Islands ship registry is big in tonnage and getting bigger. It took over the third place globally several years ago and is poised to overtake Liberia to become the second ranked registry behind only Panama. 

At the end of 2014, the Marshalls had flagged 2580 vessels for over 108 million gross tonnes. More significantly, the Marshalls registry continues to be the fastest growing registry, with last year’s 14 per cent grow rate leading the industry and showing little sign of slowing.

Greece-based Theo K. Xenakoudis, director of Worldwide Business Operations of International Registries, Inc., which manages the registry, said by the end of February, the number of vessels flagged had leaped to 3400 accounting for 118 million gross tonnes.

“Based on sustained growth of the Marshall Islands registry, the new building commitments, and the international coverage of registry personnel from the Far East to the United States, we strongly believe the Marshall Islands will be the second largest flag worldwide within the next two years,” he said.

Throughout its nearly 30-year existence, the Marshall Islands registry has been heavily weighted with fuel tankers, which account for the high tonnage but per vessel number flying Marshall Islands flags.

The Marshall Islands registers nearly a fifth of the world’s oil tankers, and also flags over 180 drill ships or drill platforms, nearly as many as Panama (202) and Liberia (265).

Since inception, a key benefit has stood out for ship owners flagging with the Marshall Islands. Under the terms of the treaty between Majuro and Washington, the US military will defend vessels flying Marshall Islands flags as if they were US-flagged.

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Village relocation blunder

Fiji shares its do, don’t list

A MUCH-publicised plan to relocate a remote village in Fiji to save it from the impacts of climate change has been quietly put on hold.

Islands Business magazine only got wind of this development when newly appointed Director of Climate Change in the Fijian Government Peter Emberson presented a paper at last month’s Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR) in Apia, Samoa. His paper was entitled; “Addressing Food Security and Relocation in Fiji – lessons from Narikoso Village.”

“The sense of urgency for Narikoso to move has subsided with the technical findings and now that the more necessary adaptation technologies and livelihood support are being provided to the villagers,” Emberson told the PCCR. “Narikoso villagers will eventually need to move but now they have more time to plan properly and in an informed manner.”

Providing lessons learnt from Fiji’s short history in village relocation brought about by coastal erosion and sea inundation, Emberson recommended that “relocation should be a last resort,” and there ought to be “a strong need for thorough technical assessments and climate change data to ensure that the move is indeed driven by changing climatic conditions”

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by Samisoni Pareti

 

 

Tuvalu cries foul

Canberra, regional bodies accused of diluting regional position on climate change

THE tiny atoll nation of Tuvalu is crying foul over how its position on climate change has been diluted in the proposed successor agreement to the Pacific Islands Framework on Climate Change (PIFACC).

PIFACC is nearing the end of its cycle and for the last 12 months member countries of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have been negotiating PIFACC’s successor framework. A new name, the Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development or SRDP, has now been adopted.

Tuvalu’s concerns about what it sees as a changing focus from climate change issues to disaster risk management were expressed emphatically at last month’s biennial Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR), convened by SPREP in Apia, Samoa, for representatives of island government officials, donor agencies and foreign governments and regional organisations.

“It seems like we can’t talk about climate change anymore,” complained Dr Ian Fry, a climate change expert at the Australian National University and leading negotiator for the Tuvalu Government. “This disaster risk reduction strategy seems to be taking over our concerns for climate change.”

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by Samisoni Pareti

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