Today we are celebrating the world’s seas and oceans and their importance for our environment, economy and culture. Somali waters give access to the Red Sea via the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The theme of this year’s World Maritime Day is ‘Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet’ ,and Somalia has a role to play. If we want future generations to inherit healthy and productive oceans, we need to take good care of our maritime resources today. Sustainability is not merely a concept, it has to become a reality for the benefit of all, including the Somali People.
Role of Security towards Achieving Stability and Sustainability
There cannot be sustainability without stability, and there is no stability without Security. Somalia has adopted a Somali Maritime Resource and Security Strategy. Similarly, the European Council adopted in 2018 the European Union Maritime Security Strategy. Within this framework, the European Union is supporting regional ownership of maritime capacity; and Somali ownership of its Maritime Domain.
EUCAP, the European Union Capacity Building Mission, is established to support the development of Somali Maritime Security Capacities, within the Somali law enforcement system, in line with the internationally recognised ‘Coast Guard Functions’.
Sustainability Requires Legal Framework
Recent years have seen spectacular progress in Somalia towards joining international standards. This is evidenced by the adhesion to International conventions like MARPOL and SOLAS, the adoption of the Somali Shipping Code, the drafting of Somali Fisheries law being the most significant steps.
Shipping Industry standards are evolving, towards environmental preservation. Somali regulations are developed taking into account IMO goals on energy use in ships.
Self-Sustainability is Critical for Building Maritime Capabilities
The European Union is supporting the equipping and training of Maritime Police Units and Coast Guards in Somalia through development programs and with the EUCAP Somalia Mission.
EUCAP Somalia is engaged to support Somali agencies in the maritime sector, to establish a Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) within the Somali Maritime Administration, and a Maritime Operations Center in wider support to Somali Maritime developments.
Preservation of the Blue Economy through Sustainability Approach
Somalia has vast potential to develop its activities in the Maritime Sector.‘Blue Economy’ offers huge potential to provide employment, support coastal communities and various marine businesses and industries; contributing to the resilience of our society.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more important to come together and explore the opportunities presented by our coasts and oceans.
Women have an important role in the Maritime Sector
Women have been the breadwinners in times of war. They prove daily that they are able just like their male counterparts to take part in economic activities in the maritime sector. EUCAP Somalia will continue to support empowering Somali women in the maritime sector contributing to environmental and socio-economic sustainability.
EUCAP is Committed to Somalia, including Somaliland
EUCAP Somalia, as part of the EU Integrated Approach, together with EU Naval Force Atalanta and EU development programmes, remains committed to continue its ongoing support to the Somali Maritime Sector, and Somalia’s integration in the Regional Maritime Domain.