Sustainability Dispatch February 2024

Welcome back to the Sustainability Dispatch!

DIRECTORS’ COLUMN

As we kick off 2024, IOA’s EC2 was busy in La Paz, capital city of Baja California Sur, Mexico, convening the first Binational Forum on Sustainable Maritime Transport & Ports, with stakeholders from Mexico and around the world. Continue reading to hear all about the forum, as well as from a new report by Soffía Alarcón, our non-resident fellow, on smart cities in Latin America, and the results from a 30-day cruise along the Gulf of California by the GCMP documenting the status of these beautiful rocky reefs.

Our Recent Work

First Binational Forum on Sustainable Maritime Transport & Ports in the Three Californias

On February 14th and 15th, the IOA in collaboration with WWF Mexico, the Mexican Maritime Transportation Chamber and the Global Maritime Forum, held the First Binational Forum on Sustainable Maritime Transport & Ports in the Three Californias. We welcomed more than 80 guests from Mexico, California, San Antonio, Washington, Quebec, Bogota, Panama, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.

In-depth discussions were held on issues that will help Mexico capitalize on near shoring trends by betting on greener ports, companies and intermodal services. The event was attended by key authorities for the development of the sector, including the General Coordinator of Ports and Merchant Marine from Mexico’s Navy Secretary; representatives from multiple ports on both sides of the border; development banks and multilateral agencies, the IMO’s Maritime Technology Cooperation Center and multiple organizations from civil society and academia.

The event culminated with the announcement of commitments made by different actors to promote the sustainability of the sector in Mexico. You can read the full press release here and visit the forum’s website where we’ve uploaded the presentations made by speakers and we will soon post pictures, videos and more.

Rocky Reef Monitoring 2023 Report

The rocky reef monitoring program has been one of the main research activities of the GCMP since 1998 and to celebrate the program’s 25th anniversary, we recreated the original monitoring campaign that started it all. During the 30-day cruise along the Gulf of California, the team documented the state of rocky reef communities, explored deep and pelagic ecosystems using the latest technology and studied blue carbon ecosystems. The technical report includes some of the most relevant findings from the 2023 monitoring campaign, including an overview of reef ecosystem health and how climate change is impacting these ecosystems.

Publications

Smart Cities: a Blueprint for Urban Transformation in Latin America

The emergence of Smart Cities in Latin America reflects a dynamic shift driven by technological innovation to address urban challenges such as population growth, infrastructure demands, and environmental issues. While these initiatives promise transformative impacts on various aspects of urban life, it’s crucial to recognize the region’s contrasting realities, characterized by vibrant cultural centers alongside deep-seated social inequalities.

This report by EC2 non-resident fellow Soffía Alarcón and Thierry Verheije, Lead Digital Transformation Consultant at the World Bank, aims to highlight successful Smart City implementations, identify challenges, and propose solutions within the Latin American context, and offer a holistic analysis that not only chronicles advancements but also contributes to improving the overall quality of life.

Learn more here and feel free to share it!

Our Shipping Forum in the News

About EC2

The Institute of the Americas’ Environment & Climate Change Program (EC2) strives to catalyze climate leadership amongst the private sector and local/regional governments in the Americas, to promote sustainable growth, tackle climate change and minimize environmental impacts in the region with the goal of protecting its rich marine and land-based natural capital.