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Philippines: Marine awareness for seafarer

Partner: PROSEA Foundation, Ocean Beacons International

Participants: Lecturer and students of the maritime school Palompon

Ecology: Protecting marine environment from impacts through shipping

Economy: Establishing important new aspects in professional education

Social: Adapted training scheme for responsible professional acting

Measures:

  • Environmental education program for prospective navigating officers and engineers
  • Testing of model course internationally
  • Introducing compulsory marine awareness courses to professional training

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the specialized agency of the United Nations, is responsible for improving maritime safety and security and preventing pollution from ships. At present, the Philippines is one of the 133 IMO signatory countries in the world. In June 2010, the IMO amended the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code. The STCW Code is principal for the content of training for seafarers worldwide and for the first time, knowledge and awareness about the marine environment and the impacts of shipping will be included. By January 2013, all maritime colleges worldwide, including the Philippines should comply.

 

The Netherlands has taken the initiative to develop an IMO model course and has engaged ProSea Foundation to do this. ProSea has been involved in the development of the first marine awareness course and has been doing these kinds of trainings in Europe together with different maritime schools and shipping companies since 1999. The model course - marine environmental awareness, was submitted to the IMO and the IMO will offer the model course to the public.

 

To make an IMO model course, the course has to be applicable worldwide and ProSea partnered with Ocean Beacons International Inc. (OBI) and the Netherlands Shipping Training Centre (NSTC) in its development, concept-testing, and implementation of the course in the Philippines in the near future. Some 270,000 Filipino men and women make up the world’s largest pool of maritime manpower. From September 27 to October 1, 2010, ProSea and OBI (with the support and prodding of Lighthouse Foundation-LF) conducted a Trainers’ and Students’ Training with the faculty and students of the Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT) in Palompon, Leyte. The pilot classes involved Nautical and Marine Engineering major students from PIT. The purpose of the training is to develop the capacity of the maritime teachers and through the MAC, teach aspiring seafarers with marine environmental awareness, with ecological sustainability of the world’s oceans as the end goal.

 

Among others, OBI assisted in discussing the concept outline and learning objectives of the model course, conduct participant’s evaluation and marine camp-type excursions for the students with lectures on marine environmental conservation with focus on the fragile ecosystems such as seagrass, mangrove, and coral reefs. The course coincided with the Marine Awareness Week of PIT. It was formally launched during the flag-raising ceremony of the school.