|08 June 2011 15:04 | | Follow Jordanoholic|
Jordan is one of the Beneficiaries of the European Union funded SafeMed Project being implemented in the Mediterranean region by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), based in Malta, on behalf of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Along with other Beneficiaries, Jordan is receiving assistance in promoting a coherent, effective and uniform implementation of the international conventions and rules aimed at enhancing maritime safety and at better protecting the marine environment both in the Gulf of Aqaba and in the Mediterranean region as a whole by preventing pollution from ships. The technical assistance, training, scientific studies, and software applications delivered through the SafeMed Project have helped Jordan fulfill several of its maritime ambitions and flag State obligations, ensuring a better organized and regulated maritime sector.
Since the Project’s inception in 2006, Jordan has ratified two important IMO Conventions, the preparations for ratification of both was covered by the SafeMed Project. The first is the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKERS 2001) which ensures that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by ships’ bunkers.
The second is the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (AFS 2001) prohibiting the use of harmful substances in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems. The ratification of such Conventions provides Jordan with an essential regulatory framework for ensuring that vessels operate within international law and at the standards that today’s maritime sector is demanding.
Jordan has also benefited from SafeMed’s assistance with respect to the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme, known in short as VIMSAS. This initiative ensures compliance with statutory international maritime requirements. The SafeMed Project assists those beneficiaries that request support in their preparations for their VIMSAS audit, which generally takes the form of national workshops and technical advice on the structures and mechanisms necessary for enhancing the National Authorities’ effectiveness at enforcing their international obligations in maritime transport and protection of the marine environment.
Jordan was the first to benefit from a VIMSAS national workshop, organised in Aqaba by SafeMed and the IMO, in February 2010. Fifteen participants from the Transport Ministry, the Jordan Maritime Authority (JMA) and the Royal Naval Force of Jordan attended the Workshop which enhanced the Jordanian authorities’ awareness of the Audit scheme and clarified the role they must play in the process.
Scholarships and training
Through the SafeMed Project scholarship grants, Jordan has made good use of expertise and training gained by having Jordanian students attend the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta and the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden.
Sponsored courses are selected within the SafeMed framework in order to provide the staff of the marine administrations and other relevant governmental agencies with up-to-date expertise on the various important aspects of maritime administration, safety, security and environmental protection.
Since 2006, three Jordanian citizens received SafeMed scholarships for the Master of Laws course at IMLI. This Institute imparts specialist training in maritime law, with particular reference to international regulations and procedures for safety and efficiency of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution. Another Jordanian student benefited from a scholarship at WMU, which offers a variety of relevant post-graduate courses in maritime safety and marine environmental issues.
More training and expertise was acquired by Jordan through participation in numerous short-term training courses, national seminars and workshops organized within the SafeMed Project. These courses addressed a vast array of maritime issues, providing around 40 Jordanian participants with opportunities for developing relevant knowledge and skills.
Field Missions, commissioned by SafeMed, brought Jordan further insight and provide an opportunity to carry out in-depth assessments. Experts on these field missions provide country specific reports and appropriate solutions.
SafeMed software tools
Jordan also benefits from numerous other SafeMed services in the form of software applications and web-based facilities. The MarEng learning tool was distributed to all of the SafeMed Project’s Beneficiaries to help improve their command of the English language. This is essential as a highly-specialized maritime vocabulary has developed over centuries and the dangers associated with shipping demand that professionals from all sectors are able to use the right words at the right time. MarEng was developed within the framework of the EU-financed MarEng Plus Project (part of the Lifelong Learning Programme) and distributed on CD by the SafeMed Project.